What do you get when you mix fellowship, food, fun, and a teaching with 150 women? Why, a girls’ night out, of course! And that is exactly what happened this past Monday evening at the Ready to Reset women’s event at RBC. Even the bitter cold weather could not keep the women away from this special evening. The night began with fellowship, ice breakers, and a great selection of hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and delicious flavored coffees and teas.
Our speaker, Cheryl Ryan, shared from her own life, and the lives of Leah in the Old Testament, and Paul in the New Testament. She explained how God uses His ordained resets in all of our lives to bring us to Him. Those resets can be slow or fast, gentle or painful, surprising or even shocking, but one truth is constant - in the resets God always reminds us of His great love and grace in our broken lives. Yes, we still live in a broken world, yes, we ourselves are broken, and yes, our hearts are constantly wandering away, but God is redeeming and rescuing us right in the midst of the difficulty, pain, brokenness and confusion.
With Leah we saw how she was “working” for her husband’s love by giving him son after son after son. For Paul, it was how he was “working” by proudly boasting of his own righteousness. And for Cheryl she shared with us her own personal story of believing that to be good Christian meant she had to “work” at being strong in the Lord. In all these cases God broke through their circumstances and showed that the “work” had already been done and that the good news is – it Is finished! The love and approval each desperately needed was only to be found in God, and they discovered they didn’t have to work for it. They actually found His wonderful love and grace was already theirs not by working for it, but by seeing and admitting their own weakness through His appointed reset.
If you enjoyed the event and would like some follow up, we encourage you to please visit the Women’s Ministry of Reston Bible Church Facebook page. There we will be offering some follow up resources, including the references to the quotes you all have been asking for from the event. If you weren’t able to make it to Ready to Reset, in the next few days we will be posting the audio to Cheryl’s message there on the page as well. Then watch for more information on how you can ask follow up questions regarding the teaching. You will also find more frequent quotes and resources to encourage you as you follow the page. So let’s get the conversation started by “liking” the Women’s Ministry of Reston Bible Church Facebook page and we’ll meet you there!
Early in October 2014, a small group of RBC ministry leaders took a short trip to Pignon, Haiti. Aaron and Abi Osborne (our Jr High youth pastor and his wife), Pat and Courtney Cassada (who coordinate RBC’S HOPE Ministry) and Pete Ferrara (one of our church elders) took a trip to see one of our supported missionaries, Pastor Francois, in Pignon, Haiti. Pastor Francois, a native of Pignon, runs both a church that he started about 30 years ago as well as an orphanage that houses over 40 orphaned (and functionally orphaned) children ranging from infancy to almost 20 years old. He’s hired mothers, teachers and more for these kids and clearly prioritizes their spiritual health as well as their physical health. They’d give our kids in Awana a run for their money in scripture memorization (or soccer, for that matter.) They were amazing kids with bright smiles and lots of love. The pictures we took don’t even do them justice. I believe so much of that is due to Pastor Francois. He is a man with a full trust in God’s provision and grace, and was an amazing blessing to be around. He repeatedly called Reston Bible Church his “sister church,” and fully believes we are united in the work of the Lord, who adopted us out of our sin and calls us His children by His grace.
We brought new sound equipment for his church, a lot of much-needed clothes, shoes, and less-needed (but still enjoyed!) candy and toys that were just treasured – all generously donated by RBC. Our agenda, however, was not the typical short-term missions agenda. In Pastor Francois’ terms, “We are in Haiti,” which roughly translates to “Who needs an agenda?!” We simply played with and loved on and prayed for his children and talked a great deal with Pastor Francois about how to best serve and enable his ministry. When it comes to these children and his community going forward, he wants our hearts in Pignon more than our checkbooks. There are a lot of needs there. But well beyond the great need is a greater trust that the God who calls Himself “the Father of the Fatherless” will provide in abundance.
– Courtney Cassada, HOPE Ministry
Please take some time to pray for the children in Pignon and for the work Pastor Francois is doing there for the sake of the gospel. Be on the lookout for upcoming opportunities at RBC to support the children of Pastor Francois’ orphanage.
Did you know that if you rake leaves for First Fruits, or provide a job for volunteers to do, or donate to First Fruits – you are also helping high school students achieve their dream of going to college? Over the past three years, thanks to the blessings of First Fruits, RBC has helped 18 students realize their dream of going to college by awarding Perseverance Scholarships (totaling over $19K) to graduating seniors at several local high schools (including Herndon, Parkview, Dominion, and Potomac Falls). The scholarship celebrates not the success that may come from persevering, but more importantly the proven character of the person who has persevered and in the process become a positive example and source of encouragement for their peers.
The scholarship recipients have had to overcome (and continue to endure, in some cases) a wide array of challenges – from financial hardships, language barriers, bullying, depression, family illness and severe debilitating injuries, to unstable homes, abuse, homelessness, divorce, and immigrating alone to the United States. Each recipient has demonstrated remarkable courage and strength of character in how they have chosen to persevere. Keep reading to learn more about two of the 2014 inspiring scholarship recipients.
ASHLYN’S STORY: Ashlyn, in the process of dealing with financial hardships, abuse, and mental illness at home, became not only an exceptional student with a 4.1 GPA, but also helped others to gain their voice and develop their talents. As a tutor she helped peers overcome academic challenges and as President of the Freethinkers Club, she encouraged others to speak freely and openly in a safe environment. Her great love for literature and music includes looking beyond the text or words for the deeper, unspoken meaning. She is much like the music she loves. As she quoted Victor Hugo in her scholarship application, “music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” Thankfully, Ashlyn did not remain silent. She reached out for help and has started sharing her story and is encouraging others to reach out and have hope. A year ago, Ashlyn didn’t think college would be an option. She is now in her first year at George Mason in the honors program and plans to major in English Literature and Music. (To learn more about Ashlyn in her own words, click here.)
JUAN’S STORY: Juan is another 2014 scholarship recipient who has overcome early setbacks in life, five years in the foster care system and difficulties at home and school. But, instead of giving up and dropping out as he had seen so many friends and family members do, he took the radical step at the end of his Junior year in high school of turning away from the poor influences in his life. In one short year, he had an extensive impact on his football team, his school community, and his youth group. He is now known by his peers for his moral fiber, leading not only with words but also his actions. He is widely respected for always encouraging others on and off the playing field and for his positive attitude. He is a true team player. On his high school football team – he played every position except line and was unanimously selected as captain and MVP. He has great compassion for others enduring hard times and looks for opportunities to come alongside to help and encourage others to not give up. In his senior year, he even packed two lunches – one for himself and one to give away. He also takes great pride in a job well done – learning that “that regardless of the job assigned you should always do it to the best of your ability.” Juan is also known for his faith and desire to share the truth of Jesus Christ with those that are struggling. He speaks from experience and gives the glory to Christ in his key verses “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) and “sanctify them in your truth Lord. Your word is truth.” Juan is an exceptional leader and is currently studying business.
If you are interested in partnering with us in First Fruits, get more information or sign up at www.restonbible.org/firstfruits
First Fruits is a service project that has rallied the RBC church body for over 25 years. It is a unique serving opportunity for families, shepherd groups, and individuals to come together and make a difference in the lives and families in our area who are in need of help and encouragement. In addition to providing food and support to local families, a portion of the funds raised goes to what we call the Perseverance Scholarship. This is a scholarship we offer in several local high schools to seniors who desire to further their education. The scholarship celebrates not only the success that may come from persevering, but more importantly the proven character of the person who has persevered and in the process become a positive example and source of encouragement for their peers. This year, Ashlyn was one of the recipients of the Perseverance Scholarship. This is her story.
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I want to say thank you to Reston Bible Church for helping me go to college by giving me a Perseverance Scholarship. I am now a freshman in the Honors College at George Mason University. One year ago I never thought it would be possible to go to college. After my junior year all my friends were starting to visit colleges and were asking where I wanted to go. All I could think was “there is no way that this is ever going to happen” for me. Things were too complicated in my life to consider the idea of going to college – I had no hope that I would be able to go.
For much of the past nine years, I’ve felt like my life was a tornado of devastation. From my father losing his job, to family bankruptcy, to losing our house, to moving from state to state, to growing tension between my parents, to my sister suffering from severe depression and an eating disorder… the list goes on. Watching all this and seeing the impact on my family as a whole left me feeling like I had to be the rock for my family. I had to be strong and supportive- hide my own anxiety and misery and fears to be there for them. I felt so brittle, so alone and weak.
In all of this the toughest challenge was living with my father. Ever since I was a child, my father controlled every living aspect of my sister’s, mother’s, and my life. He was an alcoholic and had been clinically diagnosed with major depression and a personality disorder. He took his medication with scotch and sometimes with a sleeping pill and was abusive toward us. He was incredibly manipulative and gained control over us through “mind games” which included taking guns and knives out and threatening to use them to get his way. Countless times I had to confront him- once lying on top of a rifle to stop my father from loading it. My father’s controlling behavior isolated us and as a result, we never knew how dysfunctional our family was until we finally reached out for help.
After many months of planning and many years of contemplation, this past Mother’s Day my mother moved my sister and me to another place – taking our first steps towards freedom and independence. Even though our future is still questionable and slightly daunting due to our current financial difficulties and present circumstances, moving away from my father has proven to be the catalyst for hope and new beginnings. And I am certain that any future challenges ahead will not be nearly as hard as what we have already overcome.
I couldn’t have done it without all of the support I received from people around my community. Organizations such as Child Protective and especially Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS). My friends and teachers have all been supportive of me. And, I am so grateful for the generosity and kindness of my drama teacher, Mrs. Young, and her family. All these people supported me through all of my adversity and have honestly saved my life.
One example I experienced that showed me how things can change for the better is, I remember, sitting down at the dinner table with my drama teacher’s family and being absolutely stunned – there was no screaming, no yelling, tension, crying, negative energy. Everyone was talking pleasantly and eating together. I had never experienced anything like this before. It was so simple, such a day-to-day activity this family had with each other, but to me it was so much more. It gave me hope that real happy, loving families exist. It was an experience I will never forget.
During the early and middle stages of my situation, I was hesitant to reach out for help because I thought it showed weakness. However, I found it is really the most important thing you can do. It shows strength in that you are brave enough to ask for help. At first it is hard to reveal your weaknesses to others, but later you realize it is better to get help then struggle on your own. It is quintessential to seek help when you are in a difficult situation; hiding that pain, anxiety, and stress only lets it fester and build up until you explode. There is always someone out there to help, and there is always hope for better days, no matter what. My counselor and others have helped me realize that the past does not define you- you do not have to be held back something you are not able to change or control. You can move past it and grow from it. The tough times and downfalls I’ve experienced have made me a stronger and wiser individual, and ultimately has taught me to persevere and never give up.
I hope sharing my story will encourage others to reach out for help in order to start a better future for their lives. Starting my new chapter in life at George Mason as part of the Honors College is a dream come true. Thank you to all those that have contributed to First Fruits in any way that made the Perseverance Scholarship possible in order for me to attain my dream of going to college and to know that nothing is impossible.
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For more information on First Fruits and how you can get involved, check out www.restonbible.org/firstfruits.
Many of you have asked for a copy of the set list from our last Evening of Worship (July 11, 2014). Ask and you shall receive:
With Us (Hillsong)
Unstoppable God (Elevation Worship)
I Will Look Up (Elevation Worship)
Your Great Name (Natalie Grant)
Be Thou My Vision (Heartsong)
Lord I Need You (Matt Maher)
Glorious (Paul Baloche)
Open Up The Heavens (Meredith Andrews)
Christ Is Enough (Hillsong)
Come Thou Fount (RBC)
Always (Kristian Stanfill)
Great And Mighty King (Elevation Worship)
Lord of All (Kristian Stanfill)
Our epic adventure, with 220 children and 140 volunteers, over five days has come to an end …but it’s really only the beginning. This past week we hosted our 2014 Kids Camp where we focused on the King Jesus, each day unveiling a new clue to His identity and the key to entering His eternal Kingdom. The children learned that our King was foretold long ago by the Prophets, that He alone has power to rule and reign over nature, the spiritual world, sin, and death. We learned that He is a shepherd King who laid down His life for us, and that He defeated death and the grave by rising on the third day, and that by coming to Him in faith we enter His eternal Kingdom. Finally, we closed the week with the exciting news that Jesus the King is building His Kingdom through each of us in His Church.
We want to thank everyone who volunteered, who prayed, and who gave towards making this time a blessing to so many children. Thank you to everyone on the RBC staff who set aside significant amounts of their time to make this week extra special for the children. Having the privilege to see many young people come to Christ in faith, and others deepen their understanding of their faith, is a reward beyond what we could ask or imagine. Thank you!
– Mike Meyers, Children’s Ministry Director
Photo credit: A huge THANK YOU to Agung Fauzi of Seize the Day Photography for volunteering his time & talents to give us such excellent photos of this year’s Kids Camp!
There were over 100 people lined up and waiting in the rain when we opened the doors last Saturday morning, and within the first hour we had given away more than 300 bags of clothing. (The photo above is after we opened the doors – the photo below is literally one hour later.)
We saw specific needs met over and over. Thanks to the generosity of our people, along with serving our body, and the local community, we were able to send clothing to missionaries in Japan and Ethiopia, and to a Christian rehab center here in Virginia. There were about 30 bags of clothing left at the end of the event, which went to SACS, the thrift store we partner with.
If you have ever wondered what might have happened to the books that were leftover from RBC’s book drive for Guilford Elementary last Spring, then you will love this story. Open Arms Worldwide (OAW) is a mission supported by Reston Bible Church that works in low income or otherwise at-risk neighborhoods in Brazil. Open Arms works to mobilize and equip local churches to reach and teach children who are in their community, but outside their church family. This year, Open Arms has started working in the U.S. as well, and their first project is right in our backyard. In partnership with Sterling Park Baptist Church, we have begun building a relationship with another Sterling Park elementary school, Sully Elementary.
At the beginning of the month, Sterling Park Baptist and Open Arms held a book drive with the goal of providing 2-3 books for every child at Sully to read over the summer. In the spirit of unity in the body of Christ, RBC gave the effort a huge head start by donating around 1,000 books that were left over from the Guilford drive last Spring. Your gifts have been multiplied and the body of Christ has been glorified! Win, win!
Read more about this story on the Open Arms website.
“I in them, and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” – Jesus in John 17:23
On May 2, RBC held a Marriage Booster event featuring Mike Meyers, our Director of Children’s Ministry and the president of Open Arms Worldwide. If you missed the event or would like a refresher, you can listen to the audio here. Below is an outline from Mike from his teaching.
The greatest battle that the church family currently faces is the knock-down drag-out fight with Satan over the hearts of the next generation. Raising a generation that knows Christ and makes him known will be the greatest gift & legacy we leave for the world.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut. 6:5-7
Considering our passage in its immediate context,
- Verse 5 – Preceded by the “greatest command”
- Verse 6 – It is a matter of the heart
Notice in Verse 7,
- Not a request – The imperative form is used. This is a command.
- “Impress them on your children” – Teach them diligently.
- Life on life discipleship
7 Principles for Walking Along the Way
Principle #1 – Don’t Freak Out – “Concern is healthy; panic kills.”
- Take the long view because God is writing a story in the life of your child. It’s a movie not a snapshot.
Principle #2 – Be Real
- Walking along the way means not being a pretender. You may fool a very young child for a little while, but they will find you out it will shake their faith to its core.
Principle #3 – More lens, less shield
- Spend more time giving our children the proper lens through which to see this world, and less time sheltering them from it. If we don’t someone else will.
Principle #4 – Enter their world – Jesus entered ours (Phil. 2:5-7)
- Make it a point to know the young person you are walking with.
Principle #5 – The target is the Savior, not behavior – Adjust your aim
- Lead them to the gospel (Romans 3:23, 6:23)
Principle #6 – Be joyful
- “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4
Principle #7 – No excuses
- Excuses may be valid, but they will be overcome when generational discipleship becomes a priority.
I hope that you found something here to challenge you and to encourage you to take seriously God’s call to generational discipleship and ask yourself the question, “What legacy are we leaving?” “Will we be mentioned in anyone’s story of faith?”
Questions for further discussion:
- If I could be remembered by my children or grandchildren for only one thing it would be…
- If you looked back at your life using Mike’s metaphor of the “snapshot” what period of your life might have given the adults around you reason to despair? How has God used that time period in the broader narrative of your life?
- Have you ever thought about your relationship with the children in your life as one of teacher-disciple? Why/why not? How might this perspective change the way you parent or engage with young people close to you?
- Did you ever view your relationship with your parents as one of disciple to teacher? Why or why not?
- In what ways does the teacher-disciple relationship change as children grow up and in what ways does it stay the same?
- How are you, or could you be, living out God’s command to “walk along the way” with the next generation?
With all that it takes to become comfortable and productive in Northern Virginia culture, it occurred to me that the internationals in our English as a Second Language program would benefit from understanding how to handle emergency situations. One of our teachers, Ron Colan, has a son who is a deputy with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office. Deputy Colantonio was only too happy to come in and share basic knowledge with our students. I also contacted the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Squad and they sent a very capable public education manager, Lisa Braun, to provide training in all matters having to do with fire safety and calling 911.
For our two lower-level classes, I had to provide translators in order to ensure clear understanding of this important information. Thankfully, I was able to find the right people for all the major language groups. The presenters deftly maneuvered talking then pausing, over and over again, in order to allow the translators to work effectively.
Ms. Braun provided a 911 simulator which looks like a telephone and has a recording of the likely dialog that would be heard from the 911 operator. It was great for the students to try to answer the dispatcher’s questions and listen for instructions. When one is in a stressful situation, this may not be so easily done – even for a native English speaker!
Deputy Colantonio talked about what to do if one is pulled over by a police officer and also the procedure to follow should one have a traffic accident. Students had many questions on other matters pertaining to the law that have either been misunderstood or not known.
We strive to give our students practical information about how to live here as responsible citizens. Part of that is helping them to acquire the language and part of that is providing cultural insight including understanding the law. The more we show our love and concern for them, the more likely we will have a platform for pointing them to the ultimate need they have in their lives – knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relevance to every person, whether born here or elsewhere.
For the third year in a row, the ladies of Reston Bible Church converged on the Sterling Doubletree Hotel for a weekend away from the pressures and stresses of everyday life. We gathered together – freed from the distractions of families, careers and simple things like making our own beds and meals – ready to hear from the Lord through Shawn Lantz, who taught on the subject of Living with Unmet Desires.
Shawn is the daughter of missionaries who moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo when she was ten, and now resides in Nashville with her husband and three children. Throughout the course of our three days together, Shawn led us through the four core issues of jealousy, taught us to expose the true idols of our hearts, and learn how to forgive ourselves and those who we feel have sinned against us. Shawn’s message was a balm to many hurting hearts, and her delivery was clear and concise. She shared many moving anecdotes about her time in the Congo and was transparent about her own personal experiences and struggles with the topic at hand, which was refreshing and encouraging.
After each teaching session, we talked through what we’d learned in small groups. Sharing in our small groups was a great way for women to share with and encourage each other, and form new connections.
On Saturday afternoon, a chunk of free time afforded us the opportunity to participate in a service project for the RBC Food Pantry or attend a special interest meeting. We were also given the opportunity to buy handcrafted bags to support Napada, a ministry in Bangkok that employs women from low-income communities. The proceeds (and there were many!) went directly back into the ministry (and the bags were gorgeous). Some women took the chance to head out to the outlets for some shopping or worked out together at the gym. And I think a great many of us took naps.
Once again, the RBC women’s retreat proved to be an extraordinary time of teaching, connecting with other women, and hearing powerful messages from the Lord. Please pray that the Lord would continue to bear fruit from our time together at the retreat.
– Emily Cassee, Retreat Planning Committee
In this video, shown during the retreat, Jan Stevens shares about the loss of her son, David, and God’s redeeming hand throughout his life. Her story is a powerful testimony of our Lord’s grace & provision in the midst of the most difficult of unmet desires.
When children come into foster care, they are often removed from their homes in an emotional and chaotic scene.
Their biological families pack their belongings in whatever bags they may have handy, including garbage bags. Sometimes, families don’t have any large bags to give children to carry their things, as many of these children come from low income families. Many times children come into foster care with nothing that first night. To have a bag of their own, filled with items that are just for them as they enter a world that is not their own, can offer a small but powerful comfort.
This was the challenge that we presented to our body back in January. Let us be the hands and feet of Christ by providing shiny new duffel bags filled with the necessities that a child whose world has just been turned upside down would need, plus some extra goodies so they would feel valued and loved. We can’t measure the effect that holding a teddy bear that will be theirs to keep would have on a child that first night away from the only home they have every known.
We are grateful to God that our people are a generous people and embraced this opportunity to love a child they will probably never meet. We had over 200 bags donated, which filled two 15-passenger vans. The bags will be distributed to several local foster care agencies and will meet a tremendous need.
It’s a very special night, the Daddy Daughter Valentine’s Dance. RBC is transformed into a magical place where little girls and their Daddies create lifelong memories. For the past five years, I have helped my daughter prepare for this much-anticipated event. We shop for dresses, try on shoes, curl hair and paint nails. She comes down the staircase and joins her Daddy for a quick photo shoot, and then off they go. This year, however, my daughter was past the age of being able to attend so she asked if she could serve. As we left for the dance, my husband said goodbye in a difficult moment where we gave each other that “she’s-growing-up-too-fast” look.
The theme of this year’s dance was Enchantment Under the Sea. A treasure map led Dads and Daughters through an undersea world with something special to encounter at every turn, including seafaring crafts, treats, and decorations and plenty of dancing.But the most wonderful thing about the evening was watching the interactions. I did not see Dads absorbed in conversations with one other or checking their phones or watches. Rather, I saw dapper Dads proudly hoisting their girls into their laps for a picture. I saw Dads elbow-deep in glitter creating pretty crafts. I saw Dads enjoying ice cream sundaes and clam cookies complete with a candy “pearl.” I saw a sea of Dads on the dance floor clapping to the chicken dance and cradling their girls in their arms to songs that remind them how precious and short the time is. It was a beautiful night.
Amid the enchantment, I saw little girls whose self-esteem soared. Little girls who felt so loved as their Dad fully engaged with them and entered into their world. Little girls who looked up to their Dads proudly. Bravo to all of you Dads who came and gave the gift of making your daughters feel like the most special little girls on the earth (or under the sea.)
– Vickie Wennemark, Family Ministry Assistant
The RBC Club House room was packed with international faces and languages – children, adults, seniors – all chattering and eating. The annual Thanksgiving Dinner for International Connection (our ESL, or English as a Second Language program) was a chaotic but lively and warm gathering! We welcomed 168 guests, which made it shoulder-to-shoulder in that space.
The buffet area was set up with two rows of international cuisine – tamales, rice pilaf, spring rolls– mixed in with traditional dishes of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing. The International Connection volunteers (plus extra helpers) provided the traditional Thanksgiving fare to give our students a taste of North America. The students proudly contributed the bounty from their home countries. What a feast!
After dinner, the children were dismissed to take part in their own supervised activities while the adults remained to enjoy the program. Pastor Ed Nalle led us in singing “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart” and then performed “Be Ye Glad” to a rapt audience. We watched a short video that presented the history of the holiday. Then there were class presentations and individual student speeches – the highlight of the evening. From the choral readings to the personalized expressions of why they are thankful, it was a time to count our blessings and then focus on the greatest gift of all – Jesus. Mike Meyers, Children’s Ministry Director, reminded us to stop and recognize the good things right in front of us that are easily taken for granted.
Our students come from about 25 different countries and 14 language groups. They are sometimes mystified by the new culture in which they find themselves but when they come to English classes here at RBC each week, they find an oasis where they can practice their language skills in a safe and caring environment and where they can learn about how to adapt to life in this country. Many come for the English but come back for the friendship and more. May God give us grateful hearts this holiday time as we think of those who are struggling to survive in the midst of so much upheaval
Thank you to all who donated items, picked up furniture, sorted and priced, and worked the day of our recent Community Yard Sale. We raised over $6500 to put into our Community Ministries – but even more importantly, we saw God meet specific needs in the body.
In spite of the rain, we had a great turnout and people were blessed to be able to purchase clothing and household items for their families at very affordable prices. I was able to help one woman choose Christmas presents for her extended family – things that were beautiful and special but that she would not have been able to afford to buy from stores. We watched as a young family purchased furniture that they desperately needed, plus a few toys for their young children. One woman bought armfuls of clothing to send back to her homeland, where even after she pays the shipping costs the clothes were still less expensive than if her family members bought them in their country.
It was a lot of work, but the Lord used it for His glory and to further His kingdom. Thank you to all who played a part in making this event happen.