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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Day in the City helps locals

Friday, October 5, 2007  
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By Jacey Jacobs

Several of the metro area churches recently came together to serve the city of Edmond in a day of service projects called A Day in the City.

Micah Hobbs, the Memorial Road Church of Christ’s community outreach minister, headed this year’s Day in the City.

“It’s an area wide, metro area service day,” Hobbs said. “It started off with just Memorial Road, but last year we started inviting other Churches of Christ.”

Memorial Road, Edmond, Capitol Hill, Wilshire and Quail Springs churches all participated in the service project on Saturday. The projects consisted of helping widows, single parents and disabled members of the community and their families. Volunteers also served and fed the homeless and hungry. This year, A Day in the City partnered with Habitat for Humanity, City Rescue Mission, Feed the Children, Feed the Homeless in downtown Oklahoma City, Capital Hill and Edmond schools.

“The idea of the day is to help those who can’t help themselves because of financial reasons, health problems or lack of ability,” Hobbs said. “Those are the types of people we look to help in their time of need.”

The thought behind the project is simple.

“It’s like Jesus’ approach to feeding the people and helping people with their physical needs. It is our prayer that it will open a spiritual opportunity for a conversation about their need to have Jesus in their life,” Hobbs said. “It’s a neat opportunity to do that.”

Former member of Memorial Road James Waugh began the project six years ago after reading the book, The Church of Irresistible Influence by Robert Lewis. The book addresses different ways churches can build bridges to their communities. When Memorial Road adopted this idea, they started with ten projects and 200 volunteers. This year there were 850 volunteers and 35 completed projects.

“We just want the community to know that we care, and we want to serve them and make the community a better place,” Hobbs said. “We serve about six different elementary schools because they don’t have enough money in their budgets to do things to spruce up their landscaping and their blacktops.”

Churches learn about the specific projects through word of mouth.

“Now that our members know what the day is about, they get excited about it and start turning in projects to us,” Hobbs said. “People are hungry to make the community look better, and they look forward for the day to do it.”

Oklahoma Christian junior Danna Nieto painted and landscaped a woman’s house and felt encouraged by the experience.

“I went home on Saturday with a bit of a sunburned face and a peaceful heart, knowing that as Christians, we served and did what was called of us,” Nieto said. “I really enjoy seeing people work together for others, and then to realize that we were not the only group, but there were many more doing the same thing all around the city.”

Not only are the churches serving the community and the people in it, but they are also uniting as believers.

“One of our goals is to meet other Christians in the area that we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise and serve together,” Hobbs said. “It’s a unity building day for the churches in the area. The Church of Christ is so big on autonomy that we don’t do a whole lot together, and this is one way we can join hands and let the community know we care.”

This is the first year a group traveled to downtown Oklahoma City to feed and visit the homeless.

“We did that specifically to get our people to wake up to the fact that we have homeless people right here, 15 minutes away from us, and there are some things that we can do now,” Hobbs said.

Oklahoma Christian junior Betsy Watson spent the day working at Northern Hills Elementary School.

“I loved doing it, and I would definitely do it again,” Watson said. “They were so grateful for our work, and I actually had fun.”

A Day in the City is only one day a year, but Hobbs hopes to expand the ministry by having several mini-mission trips to help the City Rescue Mission.

“We want to build a couple more homes with Habitat for Humanity, work with City Rescue Mission and serve the homeless,” Hobbs said. “We would even like to possibly adopt a family. We would like to put them in a mobile home to try to get them back on their feet. It will be a [big] task, but that is something we want to do.”

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