SAGINAW “The religion which is holy and free from evil in the eyes of our God and Father is this: to take care of children who have no fathers and of widows who are in trouble, and to keep oneself untouched by the world.” That’s how the “Bible in Basic English” translates James 1:27. And accomplishing a home makeover for a widow is one way Eagle’s View Church incarnates that well-known verse.
“We’ll be repainting her house, doing landscaping, installling insulation and building a canopy over her driveway?just like you see on TV,” said Brad Collins, who volunteers as an associate pastor at Eagle’s View in the Fort Worth suburb of Saginaw, and who heads-up the church’s Mercy Outreach ministry.
Collins is leading a church-wide project called 40 Days of Servolution. From Aug. 30-Oct. 11, Eagle’s View members will study a curriculum and other service-oriented material written by Collins in preparations for three days of all-out service.
“On October 9-10, we we’ll complete the home makeover for a widow in our community,” Collins said. “And we’ll also do many other service projects and random acts of kindness all weekend.”
The “random acts of kindness” represent assistance the church already has provided to its neighbors and other church members, including house and yard clean-up, and lawn mowing.
“On Sunday (Oct. 11), we’ll meet for a 30-minute worship time, and then hit the streets for a few hours of serving. After that, we’ll come back to the church for testimonies and a big barbeque,” Coillins explained. “It’s a way for our church to get involved with the community.”
With the help of Terri, his wife, Collins founded Mercy Outreach in 2003 as an inner-city ministry. And widows aren’t the only beneficiaries. Using block parties and barbeques, Mercy Outreach has assisted hundreds of people through every kind of ministry Brad can imagine.
“I love doing it. I lose sleep at night thinking of ways to serve people,” he told the TEXAN. “It drives my wife crazy. She asks me if my brain ever stops.”
“We invite other churches in Texas to join us in this endeavor,” Collins said.
“Whether they complete the 40 days of preparation or just the weekend of service, we just want to see people on the streets sharing the love of Jesus by serving. And I’d be happy to work with these churches for training if needed.”
Meeting others’ needs isn’t a new thing for Eagle’s View or Brad, whose leadership among church members in several ministries continues to aid impoverished people in Tarrant County, including entire families who make their homes under bridges.
“We go down there under the bridge and feed the people cooked meals,” and also share the gospel, he said. “We don’t push them. We just love on them and establish relationships by sharing the love of Christ.”
Other Mercy Outreach ministries include an annual Thanksgiving dinner served at the church on Thanksgiving Day, assistance for victims of addiction and domestic violence, Christmas block parties that offer free meals and gifts for children, and clothing drives for Hurricane Ike victims, the most recent of which resulted in six professions of faith in Christ. Other local ministries have brought several families to Christ and into church membership.
When asked what motivates him, Collins said, “I love Jesus and people. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and want others to have one. I also love serving and giving, and to do something for someone that puts a gleam in their eye.
“And when people ask me why I do this, I don’t tell them it’s because the Bible commands us to do it. I tell them that Christ died on a cross for my sins, and he serves me everyday.”
“The book of Acts tells us to share what we have, and that’s what we’re doing,” he added. “What we have really isn’t ours. God asks us to help others with it and give it away.”