Here to Serve
Mark 10:45 says that the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. That Jesus would come at all is staggering. That he would chose to serve others, astounding. That he would give his life for sinners,…there are simply no words to describe it, especially when you’ve experienced his saving grace first hand.
Mark 10:45 is the theme verse for Good Neighbors Summer Camp July 14th-19th, and this article is designed to get you familiar with the work and praying for the work this summer.
As many of you know, Good Neighbors is a ministry of mercy focused on serving low-income families in Southern Chester county to make their homes warmer, dryer, safer, healthier, in the name of Jesus. As an organization, they steward their monies well and are able to bring $3 worth of benefit to every $1 donated. A team of volunteers serve families with free home repairs year round. These families have to meet certain criterion (must be a home owner, must not flip the house, must meet the counties definition of poverty, etc.) to receive the help and the resources at Good Neighbors disposal, which is around $300,000 and 10,000+ man hours per year.
However, part of the vision for Good Neighbors is not merely to have skilled adults do the work, but equip and empower young people for a life of service in their communities. To that end, once a year, Good Neighbors hosts a week long summer camp for youth groups. The youth stay overnight at Avondale Pres., which is where they sleep, eat, and participate in an evening program of worship and teaching each night of the work week. This year, EPC is not only participating in the camp, but our musicians are leading the worship and I’ll be speaking to the 60+ youth on the theme of “Here to Serve” from Mark 10:45 each night.
In other words, EPC is making a tremendous investment not just on the ‘work’ side as Scott Cherry leads our team on the work site, but in the lives of 60+ youth coming from different church and non-churched backgrounds on the ‘worship’ and ‘word’ side. They’ll wake up in the morning to devotions I’ve written, return to camp at night to sing songs led by our worship team (Brian Warshaw, Norm Marks, Chris Brearly, Rob Ellis, Claire Webster), and then hear a total of 5 evangelistic and (Lord willing!) edifying messages from me. That’s an increased investment over last year, and one in which we (and I especially!) need your prayer.
I’m exceedingly thankful for an opportunity to serve Good Neighbors in this way, and to strengthen EPC’s partnership in this vital and thriving work which ministers to our actual neighbors.
As I conclude, there’s much to rejoice in. The youth served our congregation a hot meal back in June where $700 was raised. They served their neighbors and EPC through service projects, mailed out letters, and then the Lord brought in a surplus of monies through our general offering (monies that will be used by the team and then the missions committee to increase our support of local and global missions). The team helped me pick out the t-shirt design for the year, and, just recently, learned how to use miter saws, skill saws, and drills at Scott Cherry’s house in preparation for the work we’ll be doing. There’s also much to pray for! In the coming weeks in addition to my normal responsibilities, I’ll be working on the devotions, on my talks, having a safety training time with the team, and visiting with our host family to meet them and get a sense of the scope of the work for the week. The worship team will be rehearsing each week, the booklets for youth will be assembled, the t-shirts ordered, etc.,…there’s so much going on for which we need your prayer!
I, and we, already feel the love and support of our church family, and we long for the prayers of God’s people to carry us to, and through, this increased degree of partnership with Good Neighbors this summer. There’s also an open invite – if any of you would like to swing by the work site to visit and see what the team is up to, or attend the evening program, please talk to Scott Cherry or myself. We’d love for you to see what EPC is doing with Good Neighbors this summer.
Pastor Joshua Knott