And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16
The Sweet Home Seventh-day Adventist Church has been alive and well during the pandemic. Despite all the social distancing guidelines, God is showing us how to do what we can, with what we have, where we are and still meet all the regulations!
So, here is what we have been doing in Sweet Home…
We are having regular Prayer Conference Calls where we spend an hour in prayer together and we are learning just how sweet that hour of prayer can be and how powerful the prayers are! On January 1st, we had pastors (from all over) lead out in our Hour of Prayer. The pastors chose the topics they wanted to lead out in and it truly was a sweet hour of prayer. Our next Call to Prayer conference call will be Friday, February 12th at 7:00 pm if you’d like to join in. Call Tawny for more information. (541-401-2521) Last time it was “Pastors’ Choice” and this time it will be “People’s Choice.” Let us know what topics you’d like to come together in prayer about.
We had a mini work bee in the gym/fellowship hall and boy is it spiffy! It is a big place so those who came to help worked in different corners inside and out. What fun we had and what a difference it made! The only hitch there might be is that Pastor will have a crick in his neck from dusting the ceilings!
We had the women in our church drop by on a Sunday afternoon to select a gift box from the church with a Pay It Forward Challenge included. Each woman purposed to do Random Acts of Kindness/Pay It Forward through the end of the year. One by one they came, looked through the Gift Boxes until they found the one that spoke to their heart and it was theirs. The bonus was they could wave at each other and visit from afar as they came and went. Our community felt a big impact from this small event.
We also did a Thanksgiving Brown Bag Lunch for the people at a homeless encampment just down the hill from us. Each bag had sandwiches, chips, fresh fruit, pasta salad, pickles, cranberry sauce, and cupcakes. Also included was a bag of daily living essentials with everything from socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand/foot warmers, masks, wet wipes, silverware for their lunch, etc. They were delightful bags...but then they got even better!
Jan Forrester, who has a water bottle ministry, donated bottles of water for each person with glow tracts, candy, masks and a tag that says "Can I pray for you?" with a scripture on the back. She now has the first names of the people in the encampment and will praying for them by name.
THEN Revelation Publications (Merlin & Vonda Beerman) donated Steps to Christ books with study guides for each person.
And THEN someone donated $10.00 for EVERY Thanksgiving Lunch and Gift bag
And THEN (it just keeps getting better and better….)
The South Santiam Pathfinder Club delivered them. They handed them out with sweatshirts and jackets for those who could use them.
They made sure to talk to the people, look them in the eye and make sure they felt valued!
We took the The Christmas Challenge in December. Members brought brand new gloves, caps, socks and hand and feet warmers, scarves and daily living essentials (for Christmas Comfort Bags) along with generous donations to purchase needed supplies. Jan Forrester provided bottled water with masks, candy, and tracts through her water bottle ministry. Another donor provided A Love Worth Giving to You at Christmas by Max Lucado. Deliveries were made by driving through the church parking lot at designated times and dropping off their donations without getting out of their cars. Once the final supply deliveries were made on the 19th, everything was packaged and prayed over by Pastor Les Jones during the church service and later delivered to the homeless encampment by the South Santiam Pathfinders.
And now, the church and South Santiam Pathfinders are gearing up for a Valentine delivery next month! We will be delivering cookies and Subway gift cards to our friends at the encampment. With each visit we are blessed by their friendship and their appreciation of our fellowship.
Yes, things have changed, and Satan wants you to think that there is absolutely nothing you can be doing to reach out, but that is just not true. If you ask God to show you what you can do, with what you have, where you are – He WILL!
Claim Isaiah 43:18-19: Behold, I am going to do something new, won’t you see it? If He can make a roadway in the wilderness and streams in the desert – He’s got this!
So, don’t let Satan win!
– Barbara Newton, Sweet Home Adventist Church Community Services
– Tawny Sportsman, Sweet Home Adventist Church Women’s Ministry and Prayer Ministry
Check out a few photos from the projects. Click on any photo to open a slideshow of larger photos.