All my adult life I have enjoyed sharing God’s blessings with friends, family and persons less fortunate through what I call “the black bag ministry” – the sharing of clothing, linen, drapery and other household items.
God’s Word was the engine that propelled me into this form of ministry. Such texts as: “For God loveth a cheerful giver”; “All that believed were together and had all things in common”; “He which soweth bountifully shall also reap bountifully” impacted me and inspired me to share my means, in a tangible, yet private way, with some of the brethren of the King Street SDA Church, a church for which I hold a great affection.
My “black bag” ministry started around 2000. In November of 2009, however, I was further impressed to extend it. I therefore reached out to eleven other church members, including the Pastor, who were all similarly impressed as I had been to help the less fortunate. They willingly and unhesitatingly contributed money to this ministry. We pooled our resources and each month we are able to provide thirty-two food baskets to our most needy, and shut-in members. Each Christmas we give fruit baskets, night-wear and toiletries to the shut-ins, and food hampers to the needy members.
In addition to the “black bag” ministry, I have had several Bible Cell groups at my home. I also distribute literature in my community.
In 2012, I started an online ministry- “Keeping in touch through the Word”. Each day, a Bible text is sent to seventeen non-Adventist friends and acquaintances, twenty-six Adventists and non- Adventist family members, and twenty-seven fellow believers who are living in many different parts of the world. Positive feedback from some of them is that they, in turn, email the same Bible passages that encourage and bless them, to relatives and friends.
When in 2012, new members were added to the King Street Church, they were encouraged to become members of the Bible School. Here, they were given instruction in the Bible, the doctrines of the church and how to engage in personal evangelism. An essential component of this evangelistic training was the distribution of tracts, the Priorities Magazines and the Bible Correspondence Course to the immediate community. Visitation of our non-Adventist neighbours is also an integral part of the programme. One example of the success of the visitation programme can be seen in the following incident:
It was a Sabbath evening. We were visiting in one of the nearby communities. For reasons unknown to us at the time, we were invited to visit a very distraught member of the district. We soon discovered that his wife had, unfortunately, died a few days previously. He wanted to know if we were Seventh-day Adventists and if the Pastor of the church would consent to bury his wife. A little while after the funeral service at the church, we continued to visit, to pray for, to encourage and to comfort him in his time of bereavement. Today he is an active baptized member of the King Street church, rejoicing not only in the Lord but in the fact that he is happily married once again, and to a wife who also shares his faith.
On one occasion I conducted bible studies at the church on a Wednesday evening for three non-Adventist members, before the beginning of the prayer meeting. I have been especially blessed, and I give all the praise to the Lord, when two of them were baptized into the faith in February 2014. Today they are still rejoicing in the faith and witnessing for the Lord. The third visitor still attends our bible classes.
I see the soup kitchen as an integral part of the church’s outreach programmme. I support it in what areas I can and have encouraged others to do so by contributing not only food items but toiletries to those who are given meals.
As Bible School Coordinator, I have made fellowship an essential and necessary component of the bible school and the bible classes. To this end I have organized outings on the boardwalk, eat-outs, and Christmas socials. For two years now we have had two cruise retreats which were immensely enjoyed by those who attended.
I thank God for the opportunity that He has given me to serve and to witness. My delight is in Him and it is my earnest desire to inspire and motivate others, as He inspires and motivates me, to greater service for Him.
Bible School Coordinator