Serving and celebrating Jesus near and far at Christmas

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 12, 2015

Holiday Concert Featuring Kevin Max To Benefit Rowan Helping Ministries and The Hands & Feet Project 

By Mark Rockwell

In previous articles for The Salisbury Post I’ve shared about my experiences with an organization called The Hands & Feet Project that works to fight the orphan cycle by caring for orphaned and abandoned children, equipping them with life-skills, and providing employment opportunities in Grand Goave and Jacmel, Haiti.

While I don’t take for granted the risks, planning, and work that go into a trip to Haiti, I have been blessed many times over by both of my trips with the Hands & Feet Project. On both trips, the overflow of support that I received from friends and neighbors in Rowan County, in the form of funds and donated items to take down with me, necessitated full-use of the maximum baggage capacity allowed for a single passenger flying to Haiti.

The compassion and generosity shown by my neighbors and friends in Rowan County shouldn’t be a surprise considering the importance of faith and Christian love here in the Bible belt. In fact, James 1:27 states that, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” So, It caught me off guard when, occasionally, I’d run into well-intentioned folks who would ask, “Don’t you think we should take care of the poor and needy here, first?”

For the answer to that question I looked to Matthew 25:31-40:

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Jesus didn’t specify whether we should be helping people closer to us first or those further away, but, He did make it clear that we are to help those in need. The needs in Haiti are real and there is a great need that Rowan Helping Ministries works to address each and every day here in Rowan County. But, like the Hands & Feet Project, Rowan Helping Ministries needs your support to serve those in need.

The mission of Rowan Helping Ministries is to serve, through cooperative community action, our neighbors in Rowan County who are in crisis, by providing essential life needs and educating and empowering them to break the cycle of crisis. Because the cycle of poverty revolves, Rowan Helping Ministries is always in need of donated food, clothing, funds, and time.

So, take some clothes or canned goods over to their Long Street Salisbury center or give them a call and see when you can help serve a meal or provide services at the homeless shelter. Because, when you consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40, what greater privilege could anyone have, but, to personally give your time and resources to Jesus Himself, in person?

Grace Bible Church in Rockwell is providing a way that you can support the work of both Rowan Helping Ministries here in Rowan County and The Hands & Feet Project in Haiti while celebrating the Christmas season. On December 19 at 7:30 p.m., Christian music group DC Talk’s Kevin Max will be performing a solo acoustic Christmas concert with net proceeds benefitting Rowan Helping Ministries and The Hands & Feet Project.

Kevin Max, winner of four Grammy Awards and 17 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, will perform a set of seasonal classics with a few fan favorites from his time performing with DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline, and solo, too. Jimmy Abegg of Rich Mullins And A Ragamuffin Band and Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil will play guitar and Steve Hindalong of The Choir and The Lost Dogs will play percussion.

Max has been to Haiti with The Hands & Feet Project multiple times and knows the value of the work they do for the poor, orphaned, and abandoned in Haiti and will be donating a percentage of merchandise sales from the evening to Rowan Helping Ministries and The Hands & Feet Project.

Tickets are available now online for $13:

A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $15 or $10 with canned food donation for Rowan Helping Ministries.

For more information visit the Facebook event page for the concert:

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