There is a wonderful church in Jacksonville, NC making a difference in the community. I would like to share just one of the experiences I have had since I have become a part of this family.
For the past three months I have had the honor of serving with 64+ members of River of Life Church in Jacksonville, NC in a neighborhood that our associate pastor, James Grayson had been praying over for quite some time. Each Saturday morning we would congregate for prayer, worship and information before heading out to this community to share God’s love with our neighbors in the Jacksonville community. Fourteen teams drove to homes with bags of food, smiling faces and a willingness to serve others in any capacity that we could. The mission was to show love and spread the Word of God by discovering and providing for the needs of the people of the community. There were teams of people ready with multiple talents in carpentry, auto-mechanics and home repair skills, just to name a few.
My husband and I decided from the introduction of this ministry of our church in Jacksonville, NC that we would have our children involved, too, so each Saturday we brought them with us to serve. What we found was that the experience blessed our home more than we ever anticipated. We were invited into the home of a woman to pray over each time she was there and made a new friend that my six-year old daughter looks for when we pass by her street. We saw and heard of lives that were touched through the love of God. We met people with an unbreakable spirit of joy. We saw excitement in our kids to have the opportunity to pick up trash in the yards of strangers and pray with those who needed healing. The value of serving in your community cannot be measured in any natural way. All of this came to happen because of the vision of a wonderful church in Jacksonville, NC and the answer in obedience to a calling from Jesus Christ.
On Saturday, June 1, 2013 our teams met a local park near the neighborhood and invited every member of the community to a cookout to celebrate our new relationships. A raffle was held, and many gas cards were given away as well as two microwaves and a 40 inch flat screen TV to the residents courtesy of River of Life Church in Jacksonville, NC. Nearly 200 men, women and children attended the event enjoying grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. The attendees listened to uplifting music, the kids giggled at the face-painting station, and kids and adults had fun playing games and sports events. The impact that River of Life Church in Jacksonville, NC made at this event will undoubtedly grow as the relationships that have been developing for the past few months are nurtured by those who have come to love the people in this neighborhood. I, for one, am so excited to watch as the residents of this community are transformed into the leaders that will continue to shed the light and love of Jesus Christ.
Love Your Neighbor is a ministry of River of Life Church in Jacksonville, NC that will continue to follow the call of Jesus and spread to other neighborhoods in our city. For more information about how you can get involved, contact James Grayson at James@rolchur.ch or call 910-346-1114. Services are held Sunday at 8:00am, 10:00am and 12:00pm; Wednesdays at 7:00pm and Saturdays at 6:00pm at 1940 Gum Branch Road in Jacksonville, NC.