SANDSTON — The members of Sandston Baptist Church in Sandston spent Saturday, April 18, serving their community through Operation Inasmuch. This was the third year the congregation has sponsored this hands-on experience, motivated by Matthew 25, in which Jesus says the test of kingdom faith is ministry — becoming involved in people's lives, responding to human hurts and hopes.
Operation Inasmuch included 15 missions projects taking place on the same day.
Members gathered at 7:30 a.m. for worship before choosing projects and getting to work. There were on- and off-site mission projects. Some members made a prayer walk through the community while others took to the streets passing out door hangers and inviting people to Sunday services. A group went to a laundromat and gave quarters to persons to wash clothes. Other off-site projects included a community clean-up, painting an elderly woman’s home and flower gardening at the Hilliard House, a homeless shelter for women.
A blood drive, a health fair and a car wash were held at the church. Some members wrote letters to soldiers and shut-ins while others were busy sewing quilts. “We try to have projects every age can participate in,” says Sandston member Lynda Holloway.
A Yard Give has been part of OIM for the past three years. It’s an opportunity for church members, their families and neighborhood people to donate gently used items that are given to those in need of them. Over 100 persons are estimated to have passed through the Yard Give this year, receiving items from clothes and shoes to kitchenware to small appliances and furniture. “This year more people were asking for specific items,” says Linda Shuck, a Yard Give coordinator. “This had not happened in previous years,” she said.
Church members provide a craft area for children. Two new additions to the Yard Give this year were a praise band and a prayer tent where people could leave prayer requests and where members were available to pray with individuals.
For the congregation, Operation Inasmuch did not conclude on Saturday. It flowed over to Sunday with Celebration Worship at both services. It was a wonderful time to celebrate what God had done through those participating and to share the impact a day of missions had made on the community.
Barbara Francis is on the staff of the Religious Herald.