This summer has been a very eventful summer for UBC on mission. God has sent members of UBC to a wide variety of places ranging from Vanuatu to Africa to Boulder, CO and many other places. One of these places was especially unique, though, in that it was practically right in our own backyard: Springdale.
A few weeks ago, a small group of people from our church had the opportunity to serve the community through cleaning up a soccer field. This soccer field in Springdale was and is home to a club soccer team, the Comets, and had suffered a hard summer due to the extreme heat. Scott Rainer, in seeing the need for the field to be cleaned up and worked on, invited people to join him in fixing up the field.
Though our group was pretty small (there were only 8 of us, and one of us was actually just a friend of mine who wanted to serve God alongside UBC), we had the opportunity to serve as the hands and feet of God for this team. We had the pleasure of serving Samir in particular, who was in charge of preparing the field for a fall kick-off that night. There was an incredibly wide variety of things that needed to be done, and though the field had hired workers, we got to help them prepare the field for the upcoming night in ways that they simply would not have had time for.
To describe a few of the jobs, one that I had the opportunity to do was pulling up a dead bush. It was all dried up and needed to be pulled from the ground, and as I quickly discovered, the hard, dry ground made the job relatively difficult. Nonetheless, I had the thrilling job of bouncing on a shovel to force it through the roots and uproot the bush. After 15 minutes of intense work, the bush was out of the ground. I felt like I had just caught a massive fish!
We had a team of three (Sam Thomas, Luke Stanton, and Chris Deal) who labored away at mowing and weed-eating. Though much of the grass was in poor condition, there was still certainly a need for it to be mowed (particularly on the outskirts), so they worked to mow and weed-eat the grass and weeds surrounding the fields and on the edges of the fields. Though we used mostly push mowers and gas weed-eaters, Sam got to operate a zero-degree riding lawn mower, and we could quickly tell that he was quite fond of it…
We additionally picked up trash and raked up leaves (of which the Rainer family did a fantastic job). I got to trim some of the trees as Casey and Scott worked on the bushes, and as a group we set up tents, pulled up posts, and cleaned the main facility for the kick-off that night. In roughly 3 hours we had finished our work at the fields.
Before we had began, I thought to myself, this seems pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps it is, but I am learning more and more that these “insignificant” chores that we have the opportunity to do here in Northwest Arkansas are truly a path for the gospel and a reflection on the very nature of Christ and the body of Christ. In serving our neighbors, we declare the love of God to all those who desire to hear, whose hearts are burning to be filled, whose parched throats desire water that will forever satisfy them. By taking action when a neighbor needs help, we proclaim the truth and nature of God as He is present within us. I am drawn back to a very challenging verse from Matthew, chapter 25, verses 31-46 which speaks about the sheep and the goats. As Christ’s followers, we are called to serve “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine [Jesus]” as if we are serving Christ, being like the sheep described in the passage. Therefore, let us stand united as a body to serve our community and proclaim the nature and good news of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Written by Adam Yawn