Youth Reveal Hearts of Charity

Dec 07, 2002 07:36 PM EST

More than 5,000 youth gathered groceries to give to needy families in their communities. Led by “Speed the Light,” “Convoy of Hope,” and an Assembly of God Youth ministry, the first National Day of Hope became a huge success, delivering more than 550,000 pounds of food to needy families across the United States.

Distributions took place in Cairo, Georgia; Jersey City, New Jersey; Manchester, New Hampshire; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Helena, Montana; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida, and Rochester, New York.

"We want young people to not only see the need, but respond to the need," said COH National Director Michael Redmon. "The people we reach must see our hearts before they hear our words."

STL National Director David Raley agreed. "One of the best ways for needy people to see the gospel transported is seeing a transport truck bringing them groceries," Raley said. "When young people help meet physical needs, they are seeing an open door for home missionaries to reach the hearts of people."

The STL had established a goal to raise $1.8 million for 12 tractor-trailer trucks for use in food distribution around the world. Raley said, "Young people see their dollars in action at events like the Day of Hope."

A crowd gathered around the First Assemblies of God Church on a 17-degree snowy morning to receive the free groceries. About 100 people lined up for hot coffee and soup served by members of the Master's Commission, a college-age evangelism team, in the new multipurpose ministry center. Many returned the next evening for free coffee and a comedy show presented by the young people, where they were invited to come to Sunday services.

Montana District Youth Director Keith Elder said STL and COH hope to continue the partnership each October.

STL paid for 11 trucks that will be used for COH events, in addition to pledging more funding for international outreach vehicles. "The Day of Hope was designed to springboard continued efforts of this type," Elder said.

By Pauline J.
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