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Getting Dirty to Get Closer to God and Others


Members of Crossroads Christian Reformed Church in San Marcos, Calif., aren’t afraid of a little dirt when it comes to service projects. About 17 volunteers from the church recently spent a day building a mortarless brick wall, planting berries, laying irrigation line, and doing yard clean-up at a small local farm.

The work day was the fourth in a series over the last two years at Teri Inc., a nonprofit organization that serves children and adults with developmental and learning disabilities. Crossroads encourages members of its small group ministry to participate in a service project of some kind, which is how the connection to Teri Inc. began.

“At this project and all of the others we have completed, I have felt a sense of great joy and closeness to the Lord that I have trouble describing,” said Gary Burrie, one of the organizers. “It makes me feel like I am serving him in a way that he desires us to serve, and that in doing so I glorify him.”

Volunteers explained that the work isn’t just about helping others but also about connecting with fellow church members. “It was good to work alongside other Crossroads members and get to know them better,” said Randy Nagel. “I'm glad I was able to actively contribute to the work Crossroads is doing in the community.”

“I was moved by how culturally diverse our entire crew was,” added volunteer Michael King. “Youngsters from Calvin Christian High School, international students from Korea and China, elders--both male and female, middle-agers and myself, an African American male church deacon . . . also had opportunities for prayer and fellowship together.”

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