October 3, 2019 | Anna’s Retreat, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands | Royston Philbert/IAD News Staff
Seventh-day Adventists from the Shiloh Adventist Church recently provided spiritual support, health and wellness services, school supplies and personal items to dozens in the surrounding community of Anna’s Retreat in St. Thomas, the US Virgin Islands. Church members spent the day ministering to community members on Saturday, Sep. 14, 2019.
“This is part of a national initiative to minister to the social needs of the community in a more significant way because the Adventist Church is not just about the spiritual,” said Candace Sprauve, church elder and personal ministries director of the Shiloh Adventist Church. “We cater to all needs, including education and health.” It’s a way to reach the community and to engage members in embracing evangelistic opportunities, she explained. “These are people we can invite to our next event.”
Sprauve was pleased to see how comfortable people from the community felt during the community impact. “As I looked around, conversing with people who were there, I said ‘Yes!’ They feel comfortable and that is what we want, for our community to feel comfortable among us.”
The church conducted health screenings, and distributed over 200 bags of school supplies and water to scores of families with school-age children.
“We want to ensure that our young people are equipped for a lifetime of learning,” said Pastor Noel James, senior pastor of the Shiloh Adventist Church. “Without our consistent effort and involvement, our children’s success cannot be guaranteed.”
Pastor James explained that it took the involvement of the more than 200 church members to contribute funds and carryout the day’s events successfully.
“There is a willingness among members to continue the mission of the church,” said James. Members see it as a great opportunity to connect with and make disciples for Christ, he added. “The church is part of the community and through programs like this we are moving closer to them and doing What God has asked us to do.”
James said that the neighbor-to-neighbor activity is part of the church’s recent strategic initiative to connect better with the needs of the community this year. In July, the church distributed water and tracts along with clothing and other supplies donated by a local charity organization in two different sites in the community. “We also prayed for those who came.”
Plans are underway to impact the community with a “Day of Kindness” next month, when health screenings, clothing distribution, hot soup and water will be offered.