As I began to write this post a few weeks ago, Oroville was still in recovery and on edge due to the events surrounding our dam and broken spillway. Many people were displaced from their homes and left wondering what sort of mess they might be coming home to. The threat of the emergency spillway failing and water rushing into town was certainly cause for fear and anxiety. So, it may seem ironic that the most recent initiative by our Student Ministries is a monthly mission project called Overflow Oroville. The purpose of Overflow Oroville is to give our students an opportunity to go into our community and share the love of Jesus through acts of service and evangelism. The basis of this initiative is Jesus’ response to the lawyer who asked “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus told him “You shall the love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40). In short, our mission is to love God and love people.
“Why Overflow Oroville,” you may ask. The recent events in our community have given a perfect example of the thought behind the name of this mission endeavor. As the rains and snow runoff continued to fill Lake Oroville, the level of the lake continued to rise and with the failure of the regular spillway it was becoming certain that water would begin to flow over the emergency spillway. In other words, our lake would soon be overflowing. It would be so full of water that it couldn’t be helped that it would begin to spill over. That is our hope for the love of God within our youth group. Our desire is that we be so full of God’s love toward to us and our love of God that we can’t help but overflow into love for the people around us. It reminds me of the Sunday School teacher who was trying to explain to a young boy how big God is. The teacher tells the boy that God is so big he can hold the whole world in his hands. The boy then asks the teacher if God lives in us. The teacher says that those who are Christians have God living within them. To which the boy replies, “If God is that big and he lives inside of us, wouldn’t he start to show through?”
It's such a simple illustration but it is incredibly accurate of what a life lived for God should look like. It is our focus within our ministry to live unashamed lives for Christ that overflow into a love for the people around us. We have already begun serving in our community by singing and decorating for Christmas at Country Crest Assisted Living and serving meals to the homeless at the Hope Center. We have many other projects planned for this year, some that will involve acts of service while others may involve more interaction with people in an effort to share the gospel. Please be in prayer for our students as they seek to make Christ known in Oroville. If you want to keep updated with Overflow Oroville projects, check out our student ministries website, www.efcstudentministries.com.
Soli deo gloria,