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God at work in the lives of those living in poverty

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God at work in the lives of those living in poverty

Poverty Ministry saves lives and souls

By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

The Hope and Life Outreach (HALO) ministry in Salisbury began as an outreach ministry of Oak Ridge Baptist Church, and seven years later became it's won entity with 700 volunteers from Oak Ridge Baptist and other churches throughout the community.

Allen Memorial Baptist Church, Salisbury working with HALO, did a block party and got to know some of the locals struggling with or getting close to living in poverty. That led to working with local schools to provide backpacks filled with food for needy children.

People line up outside of First Baptist Church of Essex every wednesday to get food and clothing. John Smith, pastor of FBC, Essex, greets the guests and spends time talking with them and getting to know them. Several people started attending the church as a result of that ministry.

Gallery Church, Baltimore uses HIV teasing as an opportunity to serve their community. As a result, they have an opportunity to meet and minister to many people whoa re struggling with poverty.

First Baptist Church, Laurel, children discovered poverty in their own community after reaching out to help kids in the Middle East.  After watching the video "58," which spotlighted families who sold their children into forced labor in rock quarries, the FBC children were horrified and raised over $1,600 through bake sales, knitting scarves and hats and selling jewelry to free eight children.  Shortly after that, the kids began noticing local needy families in the area.  "God opened their eyes to the needs around the, " Shaffer said.

New Hope Community Church in Curtis Bay, holds biannual "Freed Markets," where members gather and share unneeded home goods, clothing and furniture to share in the flea market-type setting with residents who are in need.