Throughout the month of March, volunteers from Believers Church hit the streets of Statesboro frequently for the sole purpose of blessing the community.
“It’s called Serve the Boro,” said Believers Outreach Minister Mike Oglesby. “This is a practical way of showing God’s love, no strings attached.”
More than 20 church members volunteered for the first event, a Firefighter Appreciation dinner.
Krista Branch, Student Ministry Director at Believers, whose husband, Jim Branch helped serve the meal, said, “It was like in the Bible when Jesus fed the 5,000. Our organizer prepared steak and potatoes for 50 people, and we somehow fed 55 with leftover potatoes. God is good like that!”
Volunteers also participated in the Downtown First Friday event, painting faces and doing a candy walk.
“One Saturday, we had a ‘Free, Absolutely No Donations Car Wash,’” said organizer Oglesby. “It really blows people’s mind when they see that we really mean free. We just want to bless and give back to the community.”
On yet another Saturday, volunteers managed to pull off three different kindness events.
One team gave away bread in front of and purchased from Harvey’s Supermarket, with the store owner’s permission.
Melissa St. Laurent, Believers member and active participant in several of the events, said, “You can witness to people all day, but if they’re hungry or in need, they can’t focus on what you’re saying. It’s real important to meet people’s physical needs, as well as their spiritual needs. If you don’t, it just becomes words without actions.”
Pliny Ruluked, a soldier based at Fort Stewart and member of Believers, helped hand out about 700 water bottles and soda at the second of three events for the day.
“It’s great being a Christian, but we have to remember that Jesus came to serve others, and we should emulate him,” Ruluked said. “We need to get out in our community and serve.”
And a third team that day met at apartments near downtown for what they called, “Kid Jam.” Volunteers and children played games, drew with chalk, listened to bible stories, and snacked on goodies.
The last Saturday of March, volunteers assisted in giving out about 36,000 pounds of food at the local food bank.
Cassandra Arroyo, now a member of Believers Church of Statesboro and participant of the serving events, knows first-hand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the events.
“Several years ago, a friend who is a member of Believers and who had invited me to church on several occasions, told me about a car wash they were having, and I went to the car wash. And then about a year later, I was stopped at the light on South Main and Jones when someone offered me a bottle of water with scripture on it and Believers’ label.
“I was going through some personal stuff at that time, and I thought, ‘I need to go to church.’ I hadn’t been in church for about 15 or 16 years. I went to Believers the next day, just making it in time to sit on the back row.
“When the pastor prayed at the end, tears were streaming down my face because of the things I was going through, and I walked forward for the pastor to pray for me. The words the pastor said were exactly the things I had been praying about! God spoke to me through someone who didn’t even know me!”
Cassandra, blessed by others serving her, now extends that service to the community and was thrilled to serve in several of the Serve the Boro events.