Hope is Not Canceled

When everyone’s summer plans took a major turn, Bellevues High School Ministry found a way to make the most of their time by ministering to others in Memphis.

At the beginning of the June, we looked ahead and saw that our schedule would look drastically different than any other summer,explained Kat Long, one of Bellevue’s High School Ministry Ministerial Assistants (MA). With the change in schedule, the Lord led our leadership team to partner with Bellevue’s Missions team and seek out new opportunities for students to serve our community.

This new opportunity began in June when students and leaders began serving out every Thursday for twothree hours at Red Door Urban Missions. Red Door, one of Bellevues Serve Out Pathways, is a nonprofit focused on serving the “marginalized, neglected, and ignored by meeting their unmet needs in love with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” While serving, Bellevue’s High School Ministry assisted with Red Door’s summer-long literacy program for elementary-age kids in the apartment complex, participated in door-to-door evangelism in the neighborhood, and helped meet the physical needs of the families who live there while telling them about the ministry of Red Door.

By serving on an ongoing basis, we are able to build lasting relationships with people in the community, MA Rachael Posley said. We gained their trust by showing them that we were not just there for a ‘one-quick fix’ but were there for the long haul.

Going to serve was not just a project to us but a way to develop real relationships with people in our community, and the consistency of serving them made the people feel seen and known while reminding them that they matter.

God has intentionally placed each of us here in Memphis. He did not make a mistake putting you here–your exact zip code, exact address. And with being placed here, we also have the responsibility to serve our city and share Jesus with our neighbors.

God wants to use each of us to love on our neighbors,said John Murdock, another High School MA. It’s so important to serve locally because it illustrates how the Church and the Body of Christ cares for all. We are called to make disciples of all nations, but what better way to accomplish that calling than by starting locally. By loving, caring, and sharing the Gospel with those around us, we are fulfilling the Great Commission while seeing our neighbors cared for.

In this unknown season of life, these students could have done a number of things with their open summer. Beach Week was canceled; Jerusalem Project was canceled; Student Leadership University (SLU) trips were cancelled–but, instead of spending all their time at home or with their friends, they chose to spend dedicated, ongoing time serving their city right here in Memphis.

Click here to watch a video on Bellevue’s ministry at Red Door.

To get involved with Red Door or another Serve Out Pathway Partner, visit bellevue.org/pathways.