A host of young volunteers from across the borough of Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, were fortified by a hot meal by the Plymouth Brethren Rapid Relief Team to keep them
enthused and in perfect working order for another day of serving the community in practical
ways and in demonstrating the love of God to all.
SPARK is in its 5th year in Northern Ireland. This year, over 200 mainly young people from 38 churches across Newtownabbey dedicate a week of their time and energies to engage with
the local community, especially the elderly and disadvantaged, with a range of projects.
These include free gardening, car washing, litter-picking and music events at local Care
Using this practical help to spread the word of God through care and compassion, SPARK volunteers had already put in an intensive four days so by Friday they were needing some extra support.
The Belfast Rapid Relief Team were privileged to support the SPARK 2016 event with food
on Friday 19th August – hot breakfast, cold drinks, tea and coffee in the morning and a BBQ
and spaghetti lunch seemed to hit the spot on a wet day! Over 170 volunteers were provided for on the day before they headed out into the rain for another day of service.
The openness and maturity of the young people along with their thankfulness for what RRT
had provided was very apparent. The atmosphere in the local Church Hall was very buoyant
even after what had been clearly a very tiring week. It is possibly the first time that the RRT Belfast
had quite experienced such a cheering, foot-stamping, standing ovation as was given in appreciation of the food provision! The team felt it was a priviledge to work with such an enthusiastic and positive group of young people.
As they trooped out to work in the community each volunteer wore a bright green T-shirt
bearing on the back the inspiring words of the Apostle Paul:
‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him’
This seemed to sum up the spirit of the day.