RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Saturday marked the first Bike Ministry Outreach of the season for the Celebration Church and Outreach in Richmond.
Pastor Rob Rhoden and his volunteers arrived in the Southwood neighborhood off 1600 Clarkson Road and put their hands to work, repairing nearly 50 bikes for kids in need.
“When you see a kid ride away on a new bike or a fixed bike and see their smile, that’s what kids should be doing," said Rhoden. "They should be safe, happy and we do it with God’s love.”
This is just one of six neighborhoods the Celebration Church and Outreach ministries canvass every week.
A refurbished bike makes for a nice present, but Rhoden said the gift of being present goes much further.
“When you step into neighborhoods and there’s presence there I think goodness can then begin to overcome the evil and the violence that we see," said Rhoden. “Presence equals support.”
It’s a mission Rhoden said is needed after the string of violence seen in the city. There were three homicides this week alone in Richmond.
Rhoden said he has seen violence like this in the neighborhoods his ministries frequent most.
"A couple of our pastors have done two or three funerals at this point,” said Rhoden. “They’re gut-wrenching.”
Rhoden hopes to replace violence with a cycle of positivity in every community his church visits.
“We don’t just do something once a year, we do something every single Saturday and that consistency over time brings about trust,” said Rhoden. “We just want to be part of the solution not the problem.”
Whether it’s a new set of wheels or a word of faith, Rhoden said the Celebration Church is determined to get the youth and families of the neighborhoods they visit on a positive path.
“These kids will have memories that the church wasn’t just some distant building it was a group of people that came to my neighborhood every week and there’s power in that,” said Rhoden.
If you would like to volunteer with the Celebration Church and Outreach you can do so here.
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