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Richmond Brazilian Hosts Free Community Yard “Sale”

Story by Dan Jensen

Making a difference in their community has taken on new meaning to the members of the Richmond (Va.) Brazilian church. In an effort to help those in need in a meaningful way, the church recently hosted one-day event last fall, and again in the spring.

The event was coined ‘the free yard sale’, and it drew more than 800 visitors from the community. More than 40 volunteers and church leaders gave away basic necessities such as clothing, footwear, utensils and food. The events were advertised on two local radio stations, Craigslist and church members distributed flyers in the community.

The only thing that members asked from the visitors was their full name, address and telephone number. Once they had completed that step, they were able to shop for anything they needed—free of charge.

“Every person is being contacted, additional services are being offered to them, with an emphasis on spiritual assistance,” said Therezinha Barbalho, the church’s senior pastor. “Our greatest joy in performing this work was to notice that, although many people came to our church for material support, many are asking for spiritual support above all, and are open to receive it.”

The church is continuing to follow up on all these leads, and as of mid-April, five individuals have expressed interest in attending the church. Two of these visitors actually came to church the following Sabbath, and one other person has expressed interest in Bible studies.