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Be a Community Changer – Happy Urban Campers

Serving Our NeighborsKey Bible Verse: “I have been a constant example of how you can help the poor by working hard.”  – Acts 20:35

Bonus Reading: Acts 20:31-35

Larry Mendelsohn leads an oncology-hematology practice in plush West Little Rock. As Larry and his wife, Sonya, grew in faith, our church challenged them to serve the community. They settled on helping an established-but-struggling inner-city social service.

The church-sponsored group Larry and Sonya put together planned parties and retreats for the kids. Then they got the idea of sending them outside their harsh environment to a summer camp. That year they worked alongside the kids in car washes, raising enough money to send 20 young people to camp. “Gang members were saved, and lives changed,” Larry said.

The next year they conducted a five-kilometer road race to send even more kids to camp. A radio personality donated his time. Corporations gave money. A black choir sang by the river. Forty young people were sent to camp. Leftover money funded special needs and sent 12 inner-city kids to the Christian high school or college of their choice.

In 2000, the race generated more than $60,000 and made the front page of the newspaper. They sent 55 kids to camp and distributed more than $30,000 in scholarship money. And it just keeps growing.

—Robert Lewis in The Church of Irresistible Influence

My Response: What could my church do that would win community support?

Thought to Apply: The height of our love for God will never exceed the depth of our love for one another. —Patrick Morley (men’s ministry leader)

Adapted from The Church of Irresistible Influence (Zondervan, 2001)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help us believers serve our neighbors in ways that make them thirsty for the Gospel.



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