As the leaves begin to change, the air becomes crisp, football is on, and you may hear the words “First Fruits” thrown around at Reston Bible Church.
Each year the fall season and First Fruits go hand in hand. First Fruits is a church-wide community service project. That can mean a lot of different things, so let me explain a bit more.
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, an army of over 700 volunteers in different teams move in full force across the Northern Virginia area from 8:00-5:00 p.m. raking leaves, cutting grass, moving things, cleaning yards, and more. Donations are then collected from the jobs, and at the end of the day the teams go to Shoppers in Sterling to buy food for a family whom they will deliver the food to that night. In physically delivering the food to the family, you have the privilege of making a personal connection with families in our community. This is enjoying the “first fruits” of your labor. We work hard together all day and then get to see what our hard work accomplishes.
First Fruits began some 25 years ago with a dream to do something different than the norm. There are a lot of great service projects out there, like collecting blankets for the homeless. Yet a desire was born to help those who are under the radar—like a single mom who has no government assistance and is working many jobs, but still cannot make ends meet. Or a family with both parents working that still has financial struggles. Or a family where one parent is battling cancer or a spouse has died.
First Fruits works with the local schools who know those who fit what this project is looking for. RBC attendees also submit forms for those they believe could benefit from this day. God has consistently used this one day of serving to provide in a unique way for our local community. Last year over $37,000 was raised in ONE day!
First Fruits started as a Youth Ministry event, but has morphed into a church-wide one, as the Lord has blessed and grown the efforts of so many since its conception. The need is BIG to allow the day to happen. We truly cannot do this without the help of each person at Reston Bible Church playing his or her part. We are in need of over 700 volunteers. Yes, 700! There are a few ways you can be involved:
- This year we are praying and asking the Lord to provide more Team Captains so we can have more teams that are smaller and more manageable.
- You can be a volunteer to work that day.
- You can provide a job for a team to do that day.
- You can refer someone you believe is in needs of food assistance.
- You can make a donation toward First Fruits.
Having participated in First Fruits for the past three years, I can say the day is truly soul satisfying, not to mention you sleep well that night. First Fruits is being “The Church” outside of the church walls. I believe the emotional and spiritual impact we have far outweighs the physical and financial gift we bring. Yet the physical and financial gift is what paves the way for the emotional and spiritual impact.