35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40 NIV)
I have often commented about the need for every Sunday School class to be involved in a service project. Every class can do something to make a difference in someone else’s life. Yesterday I met someone who has been doing it for years! Mrs. Linda King is the WMU Director for Vandola Baptist Church in Danville, VA. Her church and she have been taking Matthew 25 seriously!
Each month with Mrs. King and the WMU’s guidance, the church has set out to make a difference for “the least of these” from financial giving to hands-on projects. Allow me today to share some of their work over the past year, and may it serve as an example for your classes to take up a project.
School Supplies & Backpack Projects: Right now they are taking up school supplies for needy children in cooperation with two local schools. (A young adult class at Madison Heights Baptist has been a part of the backpack project that provides a backpack of food for needy children to take home on the weekend. They were so moved by the need that they have even been doing it in the Summer!)
Shut-in Meals: The church has provided a meal for their homebound church members and other shut-ins in the community (around 42 meals each time.)
Provide a meal at a college: Another project once a year is providing a meal for a local college campus ministry event.
Community Giving: This past year, a local middle school student was having a heart transplant and the church provided financial support for the family’s needs.
Clothes for Kids: As a part of the Pittsylvania Baptist Association’s ministry, they collected clothes for needy children going back to school.
Kids for Christ: They have a Wednesday night program for the children (including ones in the community) and provide funds for dinner that night as part of the program.
Local Food Pantry: Vandola Baptist collected 364 lbs. of food one month for God’s Storehouse, a local food pantry.
Conkerr Cancer (Look up: http://www.conkerrcancer.org/ for more info.) They go to a hospital the First Friday of every month in Winston Salem, NC with patterns to sew pillow cases for children in the cancer ward. The children actually help the adults sew the pillow cases if they are able. Otherwise they pick which one they want and the adults sew them together.
Connect with others for projects: Right now I am in the process of networking Dan River Baptist Association with Mrs. King to bring Samantha Dolls to the children at the hospital. The Samantha Doll project has been going on in their association for quite some time. It is making dolls for terminally and critically ill patients.
Jesus is clear: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
It is time for all of us to take seriously the call to serve “the least of these”! Let me know about creative projects your classes are doing.