Operation INASMUCH

Clad in the uniform of the day—a bright blue shirt with the Operation Inasmuch logo emblazoned across the front—groups of Christians serving as the “hands and feet of Jesus” perform community service projects from delivering cookies to the ER and the Sheriff’s Office to yard clean-up.

Made up of an interdenominational team of volunteers from area Tappahannock VA churches, Operation Inasmuch mobilizes believers in a hands-on local church mission blitz in their community.  It offers a proven model of local ministry for any size congregation in any location.

So what’s with the name? Inasmuch is taken from Mathew 25:40 which says “Inasmuch as you have done such things for the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done the same for me.”

Being invited to be part of such an event was an honor and privilege. I was asked to be part of Project 9, the Youth Project. Children that wanted to participate in the days projects were organized into two groups, each at a different location. Gleta and Steve Jones from Radiant Life AG coordinated one of the locations. The kids were instructed to make cards, place mats and favors for those in nursing homes, and on a star, handwritten words of encouragement for someone special in their lives. I was asked to address the children at both locations and to encourage them with a biblical perspective on the responsibility we have to help others in need.

You couldn’t help but notice the blue-shirted brigade of volunteers all over the streets of Tappahannock if you were anywhere in town on that day. More than one eyebrow was raised as people encountered them. The initial reaction from a lot of folks was “what’s the catch?” They couldn’t believe that the help, the paint, the cookies were free—no strings attached. The community spirit and goodwill radiated among the givers and, eventually, the recipients alike. Volunteers of all ages felt the priceless satisfaction of doing good for goodness sake.

Helping others is a conscious decision, one that pleases the heart of God. I am glad that I was able to be part of reaching the hearts of people in Tappahannock Virginia, Essex County.

 

Fall Fest brings in Harvest

The crisp morning air ushered in the day as the sun rose over the mountain. Leaves of gold, crimson red, and orange colored the trees that lined the road. As I traveled I looked across the fields of pumpkins, gourds, soybean and corn. I passed through orchards filled with yellow and red apples hanging thick on the trees. The harvest is plentiful and there’s much work to be done before the weather turns cold.

That Saturday, Calvary’s annual Community Fall Festival, as I looked over the arriving crowd I saw a different type of harvest that consisted of mothers, fathers, children, friends and neighbors. It was the harvest that Jesus spoke of when He said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus knew that the work was bigger than any one of us could handle. Similarly, when Jesus sent out the seventy-two to go before Him, He is also sending us. Jesus is sending us to actively bring in the harvest by telling others about Him. He also knows that we need help so Jesus is telling us to pray for others that would come along side and help. The Calvary church family made a conscious decision to do their part that day to bring in the harvest. When I was asked to deliver the salvation message to the children that day I was humbled yet excited to be part of those that Jesus had sent out. I knew that this was my opportunity to reach not only the children, but entire families with the message of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. And yes, we did see a harvest of over 30 decisions to follow Christ.

My prayer is that you will see the harvest today and make a decision to actively help bring that harvest into the presence of Jesus; keeping in mind what Jesus said later in that same chapter of Luke 10, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Eternal Differences? You Can Help!

Six straight weeks of kids camp, two United States missions trips and 126 souls later I’m humbled how God chose to use me this summer. As I sit down to share what God did in the lives of children over the past four months I continue to think, ‘what more can I do to reach the children that have yet to know Jesus?’ God opened the doors for me to minister to children throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. In the 3,700 miles I traveled, I led 126 children in first time decisions to follow Jesus.
clownsThe summer started in Appalachia where I partnered with Pastor TJ Wolfe from Warwick AG. We trained and prepared a team to go into Oak Hill West Virginia where we did street ministry and then held a three day evangelistic outreach for the children in that area. Over 26 children invited Jesus into their lives that week.
COHNext I headed to Dallas Pennsylvania where I spent a week at Camp Orchard Hill as the guest speaker. Using “Deeply Rooted” as the theme, I challenged the campers to evaluate their personal relationship with Jesus and to grow deeper in their faith. 76 children gave their hearts to Jesus and many others fell deeper in love with Him. When testimonies were shared one girl stood up and said, “Before coming to camp I really didn’t know Jesus and didn’t care but today I want everyone to know that I know Him and want to live for Him forever.” One of the boys stood and shared, “Now I know that Jesus will provide for me and I don‚Äôt need to worry about things.” The most touching was a girl that said, “I’ve learned that I can still have happiness even though my dad just died.” There are children here in the United States that are hurting and need the hope and love that only Jesus gives.
KeyserThe summer was rounded off with five more weeks of kids camp and then I headed to Keyser WV with a team from 1st AG in Harrisonburg VA led by Trevor Whetzel. We had been invited to participate in a city wide outreach and minister to the children. All of our efforts were rewarded with 24 children making decisions to follow Jesus.
There are many more children to be reached. I want to continue to prepare people, train teams and minister to these children but we need your help. We’ve raised 28% of our budget. To remain on the mission field we’re asking you to invest in our ministry through a monthly Faith Promise. We are making an eternal difference in the lives of children, now you can help.
Click on our Donate page for instructions how you can partner with us. Please prayerfully consider investing in the lives of children through our ministry!

Keyser City-Wide Outreach

children

With the help of ‘No Limitz’ youth group from 1st AG in Harrisonburg Virginia, three years of community prayer by local leaders and pastors in Keyser, months of preparation, and hundreds of volunteers the seeds were planted to lead over 25 children in making personal decisions to follow Jesus. What a weekend of rejoicing in Keyser West Virginia as these children’s lives were changed for eternity.

keyser

The reward that came from the hours and hours of practice and team preparation were seen in the faces of those children. My reward was being able to help train and prepare this youth group to reap the harvest in Keyser. As a missionary to children in the United States, it’s not as much about how many children I can reach with the gospel but how many people can I empower to share the gospel with children. Only then will we see the multitudes come to know Jesus.

no-limitz

I was so blessed by the youth groups efforts and their desire to minister to the children. They put in long hours with very little free time as they prepared games, illusions, skits and music to share with the children. They remained focused on the task at hand but never lost sight of their goal; to see children give their lives to Jesus.

“Return Unto Me” was the theme of the event and together we stepped out in faith to reach the community of Keyser West Virginia. People representing different denominations and ages had come together to provide the platform for people to come and experience the message of Christ’s love.

Many thanks to Pastor John and Pastor Shawn from Keyser Assembly of God and the many other churches that made our trip so amazing and for providing our housing and food as well as facilities to prepare for the three services. It was a blessing to minister alongside of you.

May Keyser West Virginia continue to become a community committed to Jesus.