By Sally Bland--
Normally, during this time of year our church would be eagerly running around getting ready for our community fall festival—Family Jam/Pumpkin Slam. However, like so many other planned activities—vacations, sports, school, and church, we had to cancel Family Jam this year. COVID has impacted so much of what we do, our lives have been shaken up. Over the last eight months I struggled with these loses as we were unable to do the things we love and that give us joy. Through these disappointments, I felt God giving me a choice. I could either cling to my old way of life and grow ever more bitter, or I could look for new ways to grow closer to Him and other people.
Last week GPBC started a sermon series entitled Waiting Well. In some respects, it feels as though we have been in a pattern of waiting for quite some time now…waiting for the election to be over, waiting for an end to COVID, waiting for school to start, waiting for church to open fully…. just waiting, waiting, waiting! It is so freeing to know that while we are waiting, God is still present and active in the world, and He is inviting us to join Him! I have been inspired watching members of our church invest in the Kingdom in new ways as we seek to help others follow Jesus! Whether it’s joining an existing church ministry that you never had time for before, listening to God and finding a way to lift up those in need, or looking for ways to adapt a traditional community outreach event to work during a pandemic, your service to God has brought joyful celebration to the Kingdom!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:11
One of the ministries I have been blessed to be a part of during COVID is Homework Club. Over the last couple of months, I have been amazed at how many people from GPBC have come together to demonstrate God’s love and care for the needs of the community through this program! When we first started Homework Club, we wanted to provide a place for families who are struggling with online distance learning. We soon realized most students coming didn’t need scholastic help, but craved social interaction and hands on activities. Now, thanks to God’s continued guidance, we are adjusting this ministry to better meet the needs of the community we are trying to serve! Each month, in addition to providing tutoring, we have planned hands-on activities that will help students engage with each other as they build math, engineering, reading, and art skills. Every week we have more opportunity to build trust in the community, and I look forward to the day when we can share the Gospel with our neighbors!
I know several people at GPBC have their own stories of how God is leading to share His love during COVID. If you are willing, I would love to hear your personal story of how God is leading you during the pandemic! Every time someone shares their journey with me, my heart is filled with joy, and the excitement for what God is doing impacts my life and my ministry! I pray God continues to inspire you and that excitement overflows and affects everyone around you! I look forward to hearing your story and celebrating our amazing God together!