SALEMBURG — It has often been said that from small packages come big things. For a church that is just barely two years in the making, it’s certainly true. While the current congregation is still very small, the pastor and his church family are busy serving God by providing alternative worship services on Saturday evenings and assisting the homeless and disadvantaged in both Cumberland and Sampson counties.
On Saturday, July 7, the Rev. Thom Miles, pastor of Enlighten the World Ministries, along with his church family, will hold a yard sale beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m. This will be followed by Worship in the Park services at 6:30 p.m. This service will offer a salute to the troops and is part of the ongoing ministry held the first and third Saturday of each month at the park through August.
Miles is a veteran and is bi-vocational. He works on base at Fort Bragg as a web designer/graphic artist in addition to being involved in his ministry.
“I know first hand what it is to be a soldier and all too often they are not given enough respect and shown appreciation for keeping us free,” asserted the pastor. “During the war on terror, many soldiers were killed and no one seemed to care or remember them. Soldiers are dying or killed each day and it doesn’t make the news. Our military personnel are willing to give everything for someone else, people they do not even know, just as our Lord and savior Jesus Christ did on the cross. We need to give them honor,” expressed Miles.
The pastor pointed out the that Bible tells that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. “This is what our soldiers do on a daily basis. And since this is the week in which we celebrate our country’s birthday, we need to remember all those who followed Christ’s example of laying down his life to save us; we need to remember those who are willing to lay down their lives for our freedom to worship our God,” remarked Miles.
Saturday will begin with a yard sale at the park. The church is holding the yard sale to help with its ministry to the homeless and disadvantaged in both Cumberland and Sampson counties.
“I have not seen so many homeless here in Sampson, but they do exists. There are numerous individuals that are homeless in Fayetteville and we have been able to build a trust relationship with them where we can now go into the places where they sleep and minister to them. This has truly taken time a lot of prayer. Our church is also doing a lot with our migrant farm workers and other disadvantaged families in the area,” explained the pastor.
The yard sale starts at 11 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m. “We are still collecting donations of furniture, electronics, appliances, DVD’s, CD’s, anything that might sell. We just ask that they be in good working order. All the funds will go to help those in need,” assured Miles.
Clothes will be distributed free to anyone in need. Just show up and the group will provide them to anyone.
“We are also asking for food drive donations. We need canned meats and fish, canned fruits, feminine and person hygiene products, candles, bug spray, anything you can think of that would help someone living out doors. Many of the people we help do not have the money to purchase these items and we use them to minister to them and open doors to share the gospel with them,” said Miles. “We are attempting to help the helpless,” added the pastor.
Miles pointed out that food vendors will be available for both the yard sale and the evening services. “Food will be available by several vendors and we have restroom facilities available. Laurel Lakes Campground is simply a beautiful, peaceful and worshipful environment. We are very fortunate to have use of this facility. Hopefully we will have a large crowd to help support those in need and to show honor to our soldiers,” stated the pastor.
The Christian bands Purple Passion from Garner and local band Praise Out Loud with Ronnie Anderson will be providing the music for Saturday night’s service. The bands will combine to lift the congregation in praise to God, Miles noted.
He shared that the third Saturday night service was going to take on a different venue as they would be taking the service to the homeless in Fayetteville.
“Christ Gospel Church on Person Street has agreed to allow us to worship on their church grounds and the use of their facilities for worship with the homeless. We look forward to this special service,” remarked Miles.
The next Worship in the Park service will be held Aug. 4, beginning at 4 p.m. “It will be Youth Day with bands Revision 1, Kings Krest and When Forever Comes. With over-night camping, fishing, games, speakers,” shared the pastor.