July 2020: With so many struggling on a fixed income and suffering from the economic effects of the pandemic, a local youth group is trying to touch lives in a positive way and make a difference.
The youth volunteers’ desire to serve those in need is unrelenting, through May, through June, now July and through rainstorms and near 100-degree heat. The Abiding Harvest Youth Grocery Giveaway each Wednesday has a line of waiting cars winding through the parking lot and out into the street.
The youth group, pastored by Fabio Apolinario at Abiding Harvest Church, takes a proactive approach to put action rather than just words to their beliefs. Instead of being a group of young people that simply socialize, they focus on reaching out to others. For the past six weeks, the youth have been distributing fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy products for individuals and families who would be blessed by a grocery gift. While other young people are in trouble or wasting away their time, it is inspiring to see a group of young people loading cars with food in 100-degree weather or in a downpour and then waving goodbye and wishing people well as they drive away.
In cooperation with the NorthStar Church South County, the giveaway will take place each Wednesday throughout July starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Abiding Harvest Church, pastored by Chris Buskirk, in the parking lot located at 4407 S Olive Ave. in Broken Arrow, on Olive between 101st and 111th streets. The distribution will be a no-contact handoff with recipients staying in their cars with empty trunks so the food can be loaded easily by the church youth group. There will be enough food distributed for 100 to as many as 500 individuals each giveaway day, first come first served while supplies last. Anyone wanting to receive a gift of food can feel free to stop by.
Apolinario has a heart for those struggling during these uncertain times and wants to lead the young people under his charge to walk out the gospel.
“The Lord has opened the doors for us to help families during this time of worldwide crisis, and we are humbled by this opportunity,” Apolinario said. “We are doing this simply because we care for people. I know personally what it is like not being able to buy fresh products like these being distributed, but I also know the joy that it is to have ministries blessing us in times of need. Now that we have this chance to bless many, we want to do so to as many families as we can. Since I’ve stepped up as the Youth Pastor at Abiding Harvest, our youth ministry has focused on doing mission outreaches to feed the people in need. This is the God we serve. He brings abundance in times of lack.”
Those on the receiving end feel the love from the teens.
“I have been blessed by receiving a food box from Abiding Harvest UMC for the last few weeks and by the youth stepping up to load my car,” grocery recipient Gail Stuckard said. “The youth have been very welcoming. When we are pulling in, they greet us with a wave, and when we pull up to the pickup site, the youth greet us with a smile in their eyes and one under their masks. They all pitch in to help. When they load our car, the youth reminds us each week that we are loved by them and by God. It is a true blessing to see young people with a heart to serve our Lord the way Abiding Harvest youth have the past several months.
For driving directions, log on to https://www.abidingharvest.org or for more information call (918) 449-1970.
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