The Storyteller Tells a Story of Faith…
Before His death, Jesus told the disciples to spread the Good News to the world (Matthew 28:19, “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? Even if we don’t personally travel to faraway places, we are still instructed to spread the Good News. We should realize that we (both Barnitz and Mt. Zion) have taken this directive literally for some time. We have touched many lives by connecting people to Christ’s love.
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above your selves.” NIV
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! They need our help, and we consider it a privilege to help them.
The February Missions’ collection of personal items for the Harrisburg Street Ministry (Pat Nissel) also provides us 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 everyone. We do so because we want to connect them to God’s love.
Held in March the Sportsman’s Banquet reaches many people especially sportsmen who may prefer to worship in the woods rather than in 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. We can’t always count the number of seeds planted, but surely, they are there. It’s a fun time with a good meal, great fellowship and a wonderful message.
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 a homemade 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 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 purchase clothes and personal items left behind; and donations were made to several charitable organizations to better help them assist their clients and guests. The money earned is used for missions work.
The Basement Sale provides household goods and clothes at rock bottom prices to those who need them. Food is provided as well to those who come to shop. Estimates indicate about 350 people were able to stretch their budget to get needed things for their families. What a blessing to be able to find clothing or other items to help those in need. Whatever didn’t sell was donated to other charitable organizations to touch even more people.
Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” NIV
Easter Egg Hunts were also held at both churches for children of the area. What a fun way to tell the message to all who attend about the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
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!
Vacation Bible School is scheduled for July 16-20. The goal is to reach the area children who may not know the redeeming love of Jesus Christ. What better gift could we give our children than the ability to spend eternity in one of the rooms in God’s great mansion in heaven? We look forward to this opportunity as well.
If we had special powers, we might be able to count the people touched by these very special events. We don’t, but we aren’t concerned about the numbers alone. The people at both Barnitz and Mt. Zion are spreading the love of Jesus Christ one person at a time. 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 rather 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!
John 15:8 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” NIV
Who will know Christ’s love because we go? Pastor Matt, Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017