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Churches 'love their neighbors' with mission

by Elisha Morrison | June 19, 2016 at 4:00 a.m.

Members of 12 churches from the Hot Springs area and one church from Texas will spread out across the community to do "mission work" while staying local.

The vision for Mission Hot Springs is "to unite and equip God's people and local churches to work together to be His heart, hands and feet around the community and across the street," according to a brochure on the program.

"We want to be good neighbors to all of our community," said Shane Robertson, pastor of discipleship and assimilation at Hot Springs Baptist Church.

Mission Hot Springs is made up of Hot Springs Baptist Church, First Baptist Church Hot Springs, Pleasant Hill Baptist, One Refuge, Grand Avenue Baptist, First Baptist Church Royal, Gospel Light Baptist, First Assembly of God, First Baptist Church, Dangerfield, Texas, The Assembly of Hot Springs, First Free Will Baptist, Glory Barn Church and LakePointe.

From Friday to July 1, the churches will divide into prayer teams, evangelism teams, block party teams, nursing home teams, encourager teams, meal teams, sport cap teams, follow up teams, a city-county employee luncheon team and several service project teams.

The evangelism teams plan to go door-to-door to conduct surveys, hand out Bibles and talk to members of the community. Other teams plan to visit area nursing homes to fellowship with residents and provide both activities and worship opportunities.

The encourager teams will go out and minister in "practical ways" to groups and organizations through creating baskets for bi-vocational pastors, paying for a wash-and-dry one evening at a local laundromat, providing a Parents Night Out for foster parents, and other projects.

Teams will hold block parties at Baseball Trail Park, Entergy Park, Family Park, Hollywood Park, Jonestown Park and Mountain Pine Park from 6-8 p.m. June 27-30. The block parties are meant to be family oriented, offering activities and worship experiences for anyone in the community. Children can take part in games, crafts, music, snacks, bounce houses and Bible studies.

Sports Camps will be held at Family Park and Baseball Trail Park from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Wallace Yamauchi, recreation pastor at First Baptist Church, will lead the Baseball Trail camp, and Tiffany McCain, a former WNBA player and member of Hot Springs Baptist Church, will lead the Family Park camp. Parents will need to fill out a registration for their children, ages 7-12, at the camp.

An appreciation lunch will be provided for all city and county employees from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 30 at Transportation Depot. Teams will also take food to the homeless in the area during the lunch, Robertson said.

Throughout the week starting June 27, teams will spread out to work on various projects to improve the city, including painting benches downtown, mulching trees on Convention Boulevard, washing and waxing sculptures in the sculpture garden. Teams will go to individual homes to help with yard work and other projects.

In the future, Robertson said organizers hope to add more churches and expand to include weekend projects in the spring and fall. In addition to First Baptist Church of Dangerfield, next year they plan to add a church from Mississippi.

Projects and teams will work at different times and places to make it easier for more volunteers to fit work into their schedules. Robertson expects more than 600 volunteers to take part throughout the week.

Robertson said anyone interested in joining a team can come to First Baptist Church for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. June 27 to July 1, or Hot Springs Baptist Church for dinner at 4:30 p.m. June 27-30, and organizers will help guide them to the appropriate team. Volunteers do not have to be a part of any particular church.

"It is for anyone to come and participate," said Robertson.

Mission Hot Springs will close with an evangelistic celebration service at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church for all teams, churches and the community. There will be a combined choir, video testimony from the week and a worship service.

All events are free for the public to attend.

"We do it because our love of Christ," Robertson said. "This is our way of showing our love to our neighbors."

Local on 06/19/2016

Print Headline: Churches 'love their neighbors' with mission

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