Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Matthew Abrams (center, in blue) and other Campus Ministries members prepare material to provide food for homeless people in Washington, D.C.

Spencerville Adventist Academy Student Leads Homeless Ministry

Story by Heidi Wetmore

The foundational principle, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35, NIV), presents a stark contrast to the self-centered messages in today’s society. Finding joy and passion in giving to others is a radical attitude, especially for a teenager living in 2018. But Matthew Abrams, a junior from Chesapeake Conference's Spencerville Adventist Academy (Md.), is leading the charge to bring the spirit of giving back into the light:

For a number of years, the SAA Campus Ministries team has distributed food and clothing to homeless people in Washington D.C. Abrams began participating as a freshman. He quickly became a nearly permanent fixture at Chaplain Tim Soper’s office, asking permission to add additional dates to the calendar to help those in need. As his passion for helping others became evident, Soper gave him the responsibility of planning, organizing and publicizing the ministry. “The excitement that he has for service has been infectious, and, with his help, the program is active and thriving, with many of his friends and classmates regularly volunteering and eager to do more,” says Soper.

Recently Abrams and fellow classmate, David Oliyide, decided that soup, fruit and bread—the usual fare—were not enough for those they were caring for, so they made a full breakfast entrée. Abrams made trays of scrambled eggs, while Oliyide flipped stacks of pancakes. This wonderful home-cooked meal brought many smiles and compliments from the homeless. “I love the immediate gratification I get from helping people and seeing the smiles on their faces,” Abrams shares. “I’ve always [tried being] an empathetic person. I remember giving what I had to help others even as a child. I just love helping the homeless.”

Soper expresses, “[Abrams] commonly brings large boxes of new clothing, such as socks and T-shirts, to distribute. While he may not consciously recognize it, he is imitating the example of Christ in giving what is new and best, not what is second hand.”

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