The yard was engulfed and choking in knee high grass which was long overdue for a cutting.
By Sherry Vogel
Now it had invaded even the bird bath seemingly jealous of its lofty position. Amassed across the entire property, assaulting even the sidewalks, were broken, dried, snarled twigs and branches. So entangled that taking a stroll in the yard was hazardous.
Peering out the window of the little dwelling was a tiny, powerless and forgotten elderly woman. She was too feeble to tackle even the smallest task in her yard and on such a limited budget, that she was unable to ransom herself from her bondage. A knock on the door offered her the hope for which she had prayed. A young man standing on her step told her that the youth group from the First Baptist Church in Baker would love to offer her a helping hand to clean up her yard. They were looking for jobs such as this for their service day.
That next Saturday, nine smiling young people armed with rakes, weed-whackers and lawn mowers descended upon the overgrown fortress to free her from her captivity. As the restraints of the terrain were cleared away, a burden was lifted giving its prisoner a much needed lease on life. She was overjoyed to be able to walk outside. Once again she strolled in her yard which had always brought her such joy. She felt renewed. Adding to her elation were the smiling faces of the young people who gave of themselves so freely. In this present age when one has learned to question any service that is free, she timidly asked what the motivation was behind this gift that she had received. First Baptist youth pastor Jon Ellingson, replied, “God gives His gift of salvation completely free. The reason we enjoy serving others without charge is because it is just a small reflection of God’s gift to us, ‘that is free and without charge’. We are so grateful for what God has given us that we want to share that with others.”
First Baptist Youth had their first service day in the spring of 2014 and have had it in the spring and fall ever since. After their first service day, the youth have consistently told their youth leaders that it is their favorite thing to do. They genuinely love helping others.
The group target outdoor projects including trash pick-up, mowing, raking, yard work, painting, and gardening. They have helped the elderly, single parents, those with health conditions, and others who simply need an extra hand.
The next youth service day is planned for spring 2016.