A year ago, a tropical storm that came to be known as Superstorm Sandy wrecked havoc on much of the East Coast. As we approach its first anniversary and families reflect on how drastically their lives have changed, members of the World Mission Society Church of God in Ocean, New Jersey decided to spread joy and love to senior citizens residing at Spring Oak Independent and Assisted Living Facility in Toms River, NJ.
Members were excited to participate and share the love of Heavenly Mother, especially since it was the first community service since the opening of the branch Church.
“It is more blessed to give love than to receive, as God always gives love.” This is the first of thirteen teachings God the Mother has imprinted on the hearts of the millions of members of the Church of God. To put this teaching into practice, members of the Ocean Church rehearsed songs, choreographed dance routines and organized games to entertain the seniors in advance of the event.
Upon arrival at the facility, Church of God members decorated the recreation room to create a festive and exciting environment to receive the seniors. The residents of Spring Oak were gladly surprised and delighted at all of the members’ effort into the event and the enthusiasm they displayed during their time at the facility.
One of the residents even commented to a Church of God volunteer, “You really must be from heaven because no other group has ever showed us this much love!” As Church of God members treat each other as brothers and sisters, they naturally treated everyone at the event – facility nurses, staff and residents – like one big family.
The volunteers’ smiles were contagious and everyone laughed and rejoiced. One recreation event staff member was so moved by the event that she invited the facility’s Director to witness how happy the residents were. Upon feeling the positive atmosphere, she exclaimed, “Keep in contact with them because I want them back!”
The seniors shared similar sentiments. At the close of the event, they thanked Church members, asking them to visit again soon. One resident was moved to tears not wanting Church members to leave. “It was so exciting and so beautiful. I’m really happy we were able to do this,” said a member of the Church of God. “We came here to promote the unity and love Heavenly Mother teaches us, not only with the residents, but everyone here at Spring Oak. Just a year ago, this area was full of grief. I am thankful I was able to be a part of bringing laughter to this place.”