Better to give than receive
It’s not uncommon to hear it’s more of a blessing to give than to receive, but according to New Birth Church lead pastor, Bruce Davis, The Bahamas has become a society that has magnified the need to be a receiver more than emphasizing the need to give. It’s this train of thought he said that resulted in his church’s Good Deeds Movements, which desires to meet the needs of the marginalized within the community, while creating an avenue for people who have more to experience what it’s like to give to those who may never be in a position to repay them.
“In Matthew 25, Jesus told his disciples, ‘I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ His disciples then asked ‘When did we see you and not help you.’ Jesus responded, ‘Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.’ Jesus is emphasizing the power and purpose of a good deed, which we’ve seemed to [have] misplaced within our communities. The concept of the Good Deeds Movement goes beyond just doing a deed, but rather doing a good deed of value,” said Davis.
Through the Good Deeds Movement, Davis and his wife, co-pastor Sheniqua Davis and the membership at the church hosted their third Good Deeds event on Good Friday. During this event, they gave away approximately 1,000 bags of groceries and clothing, provided shampoo, hair-braiding and hair cutting services for people; checked people’s vehicle engines and washed them as well.
This year the church members improved on their Good Deeds initiative by engaging in doing a good deed for 20 days, which they began on March 21, leading up to Good Deeds on Good Friday, an initiative which they partnered with Rubis Service Station for.
Their hope this year was to impact more lives with even more good deeds.
New Birth Church hosted its first Good Deeds event in 2014 with an outreach during which church members visited children’s homes and gave each child housed at the home a week’s supply of lunch, clothing, grocery and personal care items. They also took time out to spend quality time with the children.
The following year, they took the movement to the R.M. Bailey Park for their first Good Deeds on Good Friday event with the goal of reaching more people.
Davis estimates that since its start, the Good Deeds Movement has impacted over 5,000 families.
“We have given back thousands of items … household items, furniture, clothing, shoes, accessories, and grocery items. Each year we’ve challenged ourselves to impact more lives and give more than we did the [previous] year. We’ve offered an array of services free of charge – haircuts, and hair braiding, dental checkups, health screenings, vehicle engine checks, facials, manicures and pedicures.”
In 2016, Good Deeds collaborated with Big Heart Kids, a children’s movement at the church which creates an avenue for children to play their part in giving back to their peers by giving lunch bags for all children.
“The impact of the Good Deeds Movement though initiated by New Birth Church, far exceeds New Birth as we have had support from various corporate. Sponsors, and many persons in the community who all heard about the vision behind the movement and wanted to be a part of it.”
Davis said the movement goes beyond Good Deeds on Good Friday, as their aim is to remind and encourage members of the community to always be a blessing to those in need. As the saying goes, “A tree is known by its fruit, a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost. He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”
The church also hosted a community grill out and fish fry on Resurrection Sunday at the Stapledon Community Park. They also held an Easter egg hunt and fun day for children.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.