Over a dozen churches from the South Union-Mt. Zion Baptist Association took part in Operation Inasmuch Saturday, which was held in the parking lot at Cumberland Regional Mall.
Despite the weather, about three-dozen volunteers came out Saturday to give away free canned goods, cleaning supplies, children’s books and diapers. Some were giving away free food, such as nachos, hot dogs and ice cream sandwiches. Given the rain, there wasn’t much demand for the car wash though.
“We call it Operation Inasmuch because Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel said, ‘In as much you have done this to the least of these of mine you have done it upon me.’ We believe we are serving Jesus directly and indirectly by serving others,” said Dr. Steven Jett, director of missions for the South Union-Mt. Zion Baptist Association and one of the organizers of the event.
“We want to not only believe and preach, but we want to also apply what Jesus said. We are trying to meet needs of people. We know that a lot of people now a days, especially in the Appalachian region, have a hard time making ends meet. We know that there are many kids that go to bed hungry at night for various reasons,” Jett said.
“Many of our churches have started feeding programs on Wednesdays and Sundays especially. We are just trying to help as much as we can. We want our churches also to be represented and be able to tell these folks where their churches are located.”
Jett added that some of these churches are beginning to have similar events in their own communities.
He said events like this are good avenues for churches to talk to people about faith in Jesus Christ.
The first year, organizers had about eight churches that participated in Operation Inasmuch, and another four or five churches took part this year.
“This year it has grown pretty good,” Jett added.
Jett noted that Saturday’s weather presented many challenges and caused the event to cancel some things, like the planned bounce house.
“Our hope is next year to have it in the convention center where some yard sales are held annually and things like that. This way it will all be inside and we won’t have to worry about these tents to set up and the rain,” Jett said.