RMCNews with Lucas Lujan – Colorado Springs, Colorado … Partnering with the Colorado Springs city government and other local ministries, Colorado Springs South Adventist church members recently volunteered at the annual Backpack Bash event. A feature of the event is children receiving backpacks filled with school supplies to help them succeed in the new academic year.

The effort was part of an ongoing campaign at Colorado Springs South to intentionally reach out to serve the city’s south side.

Lucas Lujan, pastor of Colorado Springs South Adventist church, explains why they decided on that region of the city. “On the southeast side of Colorado Springs, where my siblings and I were raised by a single mother, there is a growing need for Christ’s love manifested through the church. In this area, you have families that have single parents raising multiple children while working two jobs. With so many financial difficulties that occur in these households, it is nice to receive a blessing with no strings attached.”

Wanting to do more, Lujan realized that the church was limited. “Many of our members are older and can’t do what they used to do in outreach. How could we let the city know that God loves them with the limited energy we have? It was a challenge in prayer and thought.”

Because of an email sent to faith leaders in Colorado Springs by the mayor, Lujan, connected with COS I Love You, a local ministry started in Colorado Springs to show the city that there is hope and love for them in Jesus. Lujan realized that this ministry matches the goals of the church.

The ministry sponsors outreach activities, including the Backpack Bash, which runs for two Sabbaths in August.  Colorado Springs South members organized a group of 13 people to volunteer for the event.

Recalling the morning event, where the volunteers began with no expectations, Lujan explains, “A few cars trickled in, and it was our job to label each car and then organize the flow into two single lines. However, a few turned into fifty, then that turned into hundreds. In a couple of hours, thousands of young people were given backpacks filled with school supplies.”

As many families waited in the heat to receive their backpacks, members delivered water and began conversations. Prayers and copies of Desire of Ages or Steps to Christ were offered.

During the Backpack Bash outreach, Lujan compared the event to Jesus’ ministry.  “I was reminded of the feeding of the 5,000 when Jesus ministered to the needs of the people. What a powerful morning of being in the presence of Jesus! We experienced three and a half hours of Christ-centered service, and I truly believe we left with more of a blessing than the ones we served.”

— RMCNews with Lucas Lujan, pastor of Colorado Springs South Adventist church; photos supplied