The Church Serves the Neighborhood

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, an Adventist church caters to neighbors’ education and health needs.

Royston Philbert, Inter-American Division News and Adventist Review
The Church Serves the Neighborhood

Seventh-day Adventists from the Shiloh Adventist church in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, recently provided spiritual support and health and wellness services, along with school supplies and personal items, to dozens in the surrounding community of Anna’s Retreat.

Church members spent the day ministering to community members on Saturday (Sabbath), September 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.”

Sprauve said she was pleased to see how comfortable the community residents seemed to be during the impact events. “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 volunteers conducted health screenings and distributed more than 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 Noel James, senior pastor of the Shiloh Adventist church. “Without our consistent effort and involvement, our children’s success cannot be guaranteed.”

James explained that it took the involvement of the more than 200 members of his congregation to contribute funds and carry out the day’s events successfully.

‘There is a willingness among members to continue the mission of the church,’ James said. 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,” when church members are planning to offer health screenings, clothing distribution, hot soup, and water.

The original story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.

Royston Philbert, Inter-American Division News and Adventist Review