By Stephanie Heading
This October, Ohio Southern Baptists will be the hands and feet of Jesus as Send Relief, the compassion ministry arm of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), partners with SCBO to host Serve Tour Dayton, October 7-8, 2022.
Serve Tour Dayton is a two-day compassion ministry event which seeks to inspire churches to collaborate in meeting needs and changing lives for the sake of the gospel. “With the help of SCBO churches, we can shine a light in Dayton by blessing the city and providing mission opportunities to churches,” said Dr. John A. Heading, Serve Tour Dayton project manager. “We want volunteers to see themselves as mobilized missionaries in a way that stimulates on-going ministry partnerships in Ohio, and we hope that this experience will encourage pastors and churches to consider new compassion ministry opportunities in their own communities.”
When deciding where to focus this outreach weekend, Heading noted that Dayton has a unique set of issues. “There is significant need in Dayton, based on years of decline as major corporations left town. The tornado outbreak on Memorial Day 2019 flattened parts of the city and recovery is still ongoing. In addition, Dayton experienced the Oregon District mass shooting, which left nine dead and seventeen wounded in August 2019,” said Heading.
Dayton City Government and Dayton Public Schools as well as other service organizations and local citizens are submitting projects for Serve Tour Dayton. Heading will approve projects over the summer and make them public on August 29. “Our plan is to find ways to meet needs and bless churches, schools, local governments and compassion ministry non-profits.”
Ministry projects may include providing medical and dental assistance, conducting light construction, serving first responders, cultivating community gardens, holding food distributions, providing sports camps and block parties, serving at local food pantries, helping with park cleanup, and landscaping, caring for the homeless and offering ESL clinics.
Anyone can volunteer for Send Tour Dayton. “Churches, small groups, college students, individuals and many others can be part of this outreach,” said Heading. “Our goal is to have a minimum 1,000 volunteers in Dayton the weekend of October 7-8.” Volunteer sign-up is open now. To sign up, visit www.sendrelief.org/servetour/dayton. For more information about being involved in Serve Tour Dayton, contact John Heading at firstname.lastname@example.org.