DACULA, Ga. (BP) -- North American Mission Board controller Terry Burr doesn't usually need gloves at work. But instead of working with spreadsheets and budgets, Burr helped create a prayer path at a north Atlanta ministry to low-income residents.
"It's good to do some hard physical labor," Burr said. "Hopefully, we made a difference in the process."
Clients and volunteers of StreetWise ministry will use the prayer path to connect with God outdoors, away from the busyness of their lives.
"I appreciate the opportunity NAMB gives us to be a part of a service day," Burr said. "StreetWise is a great ministry. It's a great feeling to be able to go over there and help them in any way we could. I really enjoyed the time."
Burr and more than 130 NAMB employees rolled up their sleeves to serve in a variety of capacities at the Christ-centered ministry to low-income metro Atlanta residents, founded by former business executives Terry and Pat Powell, members of nearby Hebron Baptist Church. It was the second consecutive year NAMB conducted the outreach.
"This is a great way to get our entire staff on the front lines of ministry," NAMB President Kevin Ezell said. "Nothing blesses us more than to be able to help out a ministry that is impacting lives with the Gospel every day of the year."
Volunteering at two StreetWise locations in Dacula and Auburn, Ga., on Friday, Dec. 7, NAMB staff wrapped presents for the ministry's upcoming Christmas outreach, cleaned facilities and prepared clothing for distribution. They put up Christmas decorations at both ministry locations, did general landscaping and helped create a prayer path around the ministry's Dacula property.
Terry Powell said NAMB completed far more than he expected during the visit. For example, he had hoped staffers would finish a quarter of the prayer path, but they completed the entire project.
"They accomplished far more than we asked them to do," Powell said. "They did things we couldn't have done because of a lack of manpower. But when NAMB's whole headquarters comes, that's huge."
NAMB team members also had the opportunity to walk through both communities, share the Gospel and invite people to take advantage of the ministry's services. After listening to stories throughout the day, several staff members said it was an important reminder of the vast physical and spiritual needs people have.
Patty Spafard, a NAMB receptionist who wrapped Christmas presents, said she "kept envisioning these sweet little kids opening up these gifts. It may seem like a really small job, but it took on such significance for me as I imagined these kids receiving these gifts."
The NAMB staff has participated in special days of service for the past four years.
Tobin Perry writes for the North American Mission Board.
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net
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