Before His death, Jesus told the disciples to spread the Good News to the world (Matthew 28:16-20, The Great Commission). Even though these words were spoken thousands of years ago, they apply to us today as well. But what does this mean exactly? Are we to travel to the far corners of the earth to tell those who will listen about the love of God? Personally, I know I won’t reach the far corners of the earth physically because I don’t like to fly. But even if we don’t travel to faraway places, we are still instructed to spread the Good News. We must realize that we (both Barnitz and Mt. Zion) have taken this directive literally for some time. We have touched many by connecting people to Christ’s love.
Think of these few examples. January began with a Missions’ sponsored collection of mostly paper goods for Carlisle C.A.R.E.S. The homeless surely have little influence in this world, or do they? They don’t matter much to us or God, or DO they? We care for them, not because of their titles or influence or any other material measure of worth, but they, too, are God’s children and they matter greatly!
The February Missions’ collection of personal items for the Harrisburg Street Ministry (Pat Nissel) also provides us with a chance to show God’s love to those we most likely will never meet. So why are we concerned about them if we don’t even know them? We do so because they are God’s children, and we are asked by God to care for them. We do so because we want to connect them to God’s love.
Also held in February was the Sportsman’s Banquet which reaches many sportsmen who may prefer to worship in the woods rather than in a church. It is a good time to connect them to Christ’s love no matter their surroundings. The fruit of this event can be seen in the many people who commit and re-commit their lives to Jesus Christ.
March and April brought the Pot Pie Supper and Basement Sale – both ministries that reach out to those in need. The Pot Pie Supper is not only a good time to share an excellent meal but also to provide funds for many, especially children, in need. Through these proceeds and some special donations, gift cards were given to eight local school nurses’ offices for supplies; bicycles were provided for two school children to get to and from school; beds and bedding were provided for a family new to the area whose two children were sleeping on the floor; additional gift cards were given to two young girls who had to be removed from their parents’ home because of abuse, to replace clothes and personal items left behind; and donations were made to several charitable organizations to better help them assist their clients and guests.
The Basement Sale provides household goods and clothes at rock bottom prices to those who need clothes or other things. Food is provided as well to those who come to shop. What a blessing to be able to find needed clothing or other items to help take care of their families.
In June, the Fishing Derby will again be held at Barnitz to provide a day of wholesome fun in the name of Jesus Christ. Many hands are needed to make this event come together, and come together it has! It is a wonderful time to reach children and adults alike in the great outdoors. The setting is very casual, but the message remains the same – God loves you and so do we!
If we had special powers, we might be able to count the people touched by these very special events. We don’t, but the numbers really aren’t important. The people in both our churches are spreading the love of Jesus Christ one person at a time. And if through all this, we only reach one person, we have succeeded. However, chances are we will not know the hundreds of people who have been touched. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be. This is not a contest but a club – the Heaven Club. God wants all earth’s souls to meet Him in Heaven someday – and that’s our goal as well!
Keep on keeping on, everyone. There is much fruit for the picking!
The above is an addendum to the Storyteller originally posted on May 20, 2017
The Storyteller tells a story of Faith...God's People at Work, The Path Beneath My Feet - "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" Psalms 119:105 (NIV) The series of stories under this heading will feature people of faith from both Barnitz and Mt. Zion churches who have not only built the foundation of our churches, but also the foundation of our faith. "The Path Beneath My Feet" is a periodic series of stories which will showcase these people.