Local churches reach out Mission work targets LaHarpe streets

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June 18, 2013 - 12:00 AM

LaHARPE — Clean-up work scheduled in LaHarpe Saturday was cut a little short by heavy rain that afternoon.
But, “we were about ready to quit by the time it started to rain. We were all getting tired,” said Debbie Bearden with a smile.
The weekend project culminated a week-long effort by members of Ridgewood Baptist Church, Forest City, Ark., to minister to youths and adults alike and be the lead group in cleaning up yards, doing minor repairs and painting homes on Saturday.
LaHarpe wasn’t a new destination for the Arkansas church’s mission team of 11.
“They were here last year to do Vacation Bible School,” at LaHarpe Baptist Mission, Bearden said.
This year’s effort was hands-on in introducing kids to Christian principles and fortifying their faith.
“There are a lot of references to archery in the Bible,” Bearden noted, which prompted three-hour sessions on Tuesday through Thursday afternoon titled “Center Shot.”
About 30 kids learned to shoot a bow. “The Bible says such things as ‘Sinning is missing the mark,’ just like an arrow can miss the mark on a target,” Bearden said.
After the kids’ program, the Ridgewood Mission team and members of LaHarpe Baptist Mission spent Friday prepping for what was to be done on Saturday, based on Acts 1:8, which says: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
By the time work crews were dispatched Saturday, more than 100 people were on hand to help.
As well as those from Arkansas, LaHarpe and two Iola churches, First Baptist and Fellowship Regional, workers came from Yates Center, Burlington, Silver Lake and Topeka.
The goal Saturday was to reach people outside the church, Bearden said. In addition to yard work and home improvements, the expanded mission team distributed food that was collected earlier, put together impromptu backyard Bible clubs, entertained with a block party and did prayer walks, in which participants stopped in front of homes and prayed for occupants.
“We also served lunch to the community, with quite a few people showing up,” Bearden said. “Throughout the week 11 people accepted the Lord as their Savior, and three were baptized Sunday morning.”

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