By SHELLY WILKISON
More than 50 people donated blood April 19 as part Fellowship Church’s annual Easter blood drive.
“Jesus shed his blood for us. The least we can do is share our blood with others,” said Pastor Michael Wright.
Wright said the annual blood drive with the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas is in its sixth year. It is a church-sponsored event coordinated by members Vince and Lori Perkins.
“It’s a matter of pride for us,” said Wright. “They (the Blood and Tissue Center) do other churches that have thousands of people in church, yet we have more members willing to give (blood). I think that speaks to the quality of the community we live in.”
Just as Fellowship Church members donate blood to help others in Liberty Hill and Central Texas, Wright said the mission field of the church goes beyond county and state lines. In fact, monetary donations from the church since 2012 have helped finance the construction of six clean water wells in villages across India.
Partnering with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Fellowship Church has contributed more than $10,000 to construct wells in villages that Wright says lacked clean water. In many cases, women walked for miles every day to haul water that was of a quality that would not be safe for drinking by most standards.
Camp Fellowship, the summer youth camp, typically raises funds for the water well project. Combined with monies raised from church tithes and offerings, Fellowship has donated $1,800 for each of four wells that are already in use. Two others will be complete in October, and Wright said he plans to attend the dedication of the wells.
“We give heavily here at home, but our mission work abroad goes back to Acts 1:8 where Jesus gives instructions to us about how to carry out mission work,” he said.
In addition to the annual blood drive that benefits local communities, Wright said the church also ministers to area nursing homes. Additionally, church youth help clean up yards for city residents unable to do the labor.
“They (the young people) never ask for anything in return, but any donations (of food or money) is taken to Operation Liberty Hill,” Wright said.
Fellowship Church also assists with Church Under the Bridge in Austin and contributes generously to the Texas Baptist Children’s Home. After tornadoes devastated parts of Alabama in 2011, Fellowship members went to that state to assist with cleanup efforts.
While all of Fellowship’s mission work is notable, Wright said he has been especially pleased with the work done by the church to make clean water available in India.
He said being able to meet a person’s physical needs — for clean water, food, shelter, medical care — is tantamount to meeting their spiritual needs.