I always enjoy those ‘year in review’ pieces that cover a variety of subjects. As I thought about how God has allowed us to meet and be in ministry with lots of different neighbors this year, I thought it might be good to do our own, “Who Is My Neighbor: 2016”.
Our neighbor is:
- The family who had a job loss and needed help from the Good Samaritan Fund to pay their power bill.
- The children who depend on school lunches for food and the Backpack Food Ministry keeps them fed throughout the weekend.
- The many folks who experienced the power of prayer by spending time in the Calvary Prayer Room sponsored by Calvary Student Ministries: and those who were the recipients of those prayers.
- Those who lost everything in the Louisiana floods who received a Flood Bucket full of supplies to get their homes back into habitable space again.
- The men, women, and children who are homeless and living at Home Sweet Home as they are provided the basic necessities to help them get back on their feet and into their own housing.
- Those living at Home Sweet Home who were able to eat fresh produce thanks to Calvary’s Garden as well as those in the Food Pantry who were able to receive that produce.
- Children who struggle enough with day to day needs like food and shelter received a special Easter Smiles Basket.
- A single mom and her daughter were able to take a huge step forward and help Habitat for Humanity build their first house which they are now making into a home.
- Walnique, Jonas, Rujerry, Phida, and so many more whose ministry in Fev, Haiti was strengthened as several Calvary folks walked with them to share the love of Jesus and to connect with their children through worship and play.
- The many neighbors in Hurricane, West Virginia whose homes and hearts got makeovers from Calvary’s High School Workcamp as well as those in Bloomington/Normal who were served by a Group Workcamp that Calvary helped to support.
I’m quickly running out of space, so let’s celebrate the neighbors who were touched by those serving in the following ministries:
Fibers of Love, VBS Shoes for Haiti, Buliisa Child Sponsorship and Clean Water Project, The Baby Fold, Various Healthy Start collections, the Midwest Food Bank, Food Packaging for Illini Fighting Hunger, Calendars to Liberia, Faith in Action, Calvary’s own Food Box, Mom and Me Camp, Operation Christmas Child, The Angel Tree, Elmira Sellu, our missionary in Sierra Leone, Linda Unger, our missionary in Nairobi, Kenya, African University Scholarships, Disaster Response through the United Methodist Committee On Relief, Redbird Mission School, Alternative seating for Hammitt School, helping students connect with God through the ISU Wesley Foundation…..and SO many more!!!
Yes, these and MANY more people are our neighbors! Thank you for making a difference in their lives in 2016!
About the Author
Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC