South Dakota Youths Pump Free Gas

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Next time you go to fill up your gas tank, imagine being greeted by teenagers who not only offer to fill your tank but pay for it as well. A group of teens from Shalom Christian Reformed Church did just that as they committed Random Acts of Kindess (RAOK).

Five youth pastors and more than 50 students in Sioux Falls, S.D., pumped gas and cleaned windows. Each student brought $10 to pay for gas. That, along with other donations from the church and passersby, kept the tanks full.

Previously the group has gone into grocery stores to pay for groceries, cleaned houses and yards, and prepared meals for people who are ill or recovering from surgery.

Youth director Chris Constant said, “We’ve helped several ministry organizations over the last two years, but we wanted to give our students a different experience that would encourage them to step out of their comfort zone.” He encouraged the kids to express the reason for their acts of kindness, telling recipients, “We want to bless you because Jesus blessed us with the ‘free’ gift of salvation.” Students also gave recipients of the Random Acts a gospel tract and the church business card.

Participant Kelci Kooistra said she didn’t know what to expect. The reactions of people have been varied, she said. “Some people think it’s a joke, and others are so happy that they cry. Some people think we are asking for money and then have the pleasant surprise of us doing something for them.”

Another student, Zachary Reitsma, said, “This experience of serving others taught me that I am able to serve anyone at any time anywhere. This also showed me that I can help people and bless them though God by doing something that seems so simple.”

About the Author

Kyle Hoogendoorn is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. He lives in Rock Valley, Iowa.

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