Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 17, 2012

Youth applauded for actions

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— We hear an awful lot of negative talk about young people today so I thought it was an opportune time for me to share a bit of good news concerning them. On Saturday morning, Nov. 3, something of a standout nature took place at our church location on Stadium Drive that I have never witnessed before. My wife Vicki and I arrived 10 minutes early expecting to greet coach Jeff Hunter and the members of the Bluefield State College Baseball Team who had expressed a desire to give several hours of community service to our church. We thought we would be there in plenty of time to greet them as they began to arrive. Wow! Were we wrong!

To our surprise, and much delight, we found Coach Hunter and 20 or more members of the team already hard at work. It was as if all of them couldn’t wait to get started in giving of themselves in order to assist us in seeing some of our facility’s needs met.

Exactly what was it that they did that meant so much to all of us here at Bluefield First Church of the Nazarene? During the course of about four hours, some cleaned and polished in our sanctuary, some cleaned light fixtures and replaced bulbs, others scraped walls, removed accumulated items from the premises, painted walls, and still others swept and mopped floors.

The list could go on and on. They definitely made their mark, and a very good one at that, on our sanctuary, family life center and our Sunday school classes. But the most indelible mark they made was on our hearts. Their compassionate and selfless actions stirred and lifted them to thanksgiving! Having said all this, I know I am only scratching the surface of what they did together as a team for us. Oh, how refreshing it was to work side by side with such respectful and helpful young men from one of our local colleges!

My pastoral ministry has now spanned 34 years across five states. During that time I have seen many wonderful things. But I can honestly say that I have never been touched any stronger by the extended hand of my fellow man than when I joined hands with those comprising the BSC ball team!

Seeing their labors given so willingly in our behalf reminded me that we have much to be thankful for when it comes to the youth of our land.Thank you Coach Hunter and team members. We have been forever touched by what we saw in you that Saturday morning.

Pastor Gary Jakes and the Bluefield First Church of the Nazarene Family