Inasmuch as you do for the least neighbors
    May 4 2010 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    As many as 1,000 North Carolina Baptist churches fanned out through their neighborhoods April 24 and May 1 conducting servant ministry in a second statewide Operation Inasmuch effort.

    From Murphy to Manteo, edge to edge and mountains to the sea North Carolina Baptists painted, planted, potted and preached with their actions a selfless, servant spirit, sometimes coordinating with churches of other races and denominations to serve in Jesus’ name.

    Coordinated by N.C. Baptist Men utilizing a method originated by David Crocker when he was pastor at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Operation Inasmuch is growing into a national movement. On two consecutive spring Saturdays in North Carolina, it was a homegrown movement that moved many to action and some to tears.

    ***

    In North Hampton County, where Connie Vann coordinated the efforts of three churches, Grace had lived in her house 60 years. She just had a heart pace maker installed. Houses on both sides were vacant as neighbors had died and her own yard was so overgrown her house appeared vacant, as well until youth and sponsors cleared it up.

    “Isn’t it wonderful? Ya’ll are the sweetest things,” Grace said.

    Vann had participated in Operation Inasmuch in 2008 and said people at Conway Baptist Church where he is a member “talked about that day all summer.”

    The church did another event on their own the following year and Vann said, “It was really good to see the fellowship and the cooperation that a mission day can bring. No other mission work garners as much support as Operation Inasmuch.”

    BR photo by Norman Jameson

    Amos Pope, left, helps Eddie Joyner and J.D. Allen build a ramp to the home he shares with his father. The men are from Conway Baptist Church. See photo gallery.


    Vann thanked Crocker for following through on his inspiration for Operation Inasmuch, and said, “We should all get goose bumps at the way God pulls all His people together to accomplish a goal.”

    He said churches that do not participate in Operation Inasmuch “don’t seem to understand the benefit they get out of it.”

    Churches want to be involved in missions, he said, but so many “can’t afford to go a long way” and they could do missions at home as a church and effect their communities.

    Teenager Allyson Leggett stopped raking in Grace’s yard long enough to say, “We should be out here doing this for the lady to show her that we care about her.”

    Because Conway Baptist Church has an active Baptist Men’s group that takes on handyman tasks as needed, and has now done three consecutive annual Operation Inasmuch events, “people know us in this area,” Vann said.

    Terri Martin, a petite woman helping to pull an old trailer house away from the permanent structure to which it had been attached so the elderly homeowner could get an equity loan to make repairs, said, “It’s nice to be involved. It builds community in church to do projects together.”

    “I wanted to help serve my church and community and this is my community,” said Martin’s friend Marlo Ricks. Phillip Ricks ran the backhoe that was pulling the trailer apart. Young people like Morgan Garris and Hayley Burgess made bracelets that will become prizes and witnessing tools for a mission team going to Canada this summer.

    Stewart Woodard, his son Michael and Skip Ritchie built a ramp and railing onto a house for a 94-year old woman who lives alone and drives weekly to the grocery store. Stewart used to mow her grass when he was a kid.

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    5/4/2010 6:29:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments




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