God heard some Methodists in Shelby County, KY had planned an encore of their 2013 IMPACT SHELBY for April 19, 2014. Thinking this was a wonderful idea, He used His unparalleled creative ability to provide the most wonderful day possible on the 19th as a way of expressing His Thankfulness in Advance before any act of benevolence had been offered. From there you worked your own miracles to share God’s Love in a most tangible way in a variety of means. For this I have only a simple “THANK YOU” to offer hoping you recall it throughout the year. I am confident you will receive accolades from others you encounter who also appreciate your offering the Love of Christ. Receive those compliments well knowing you have lived out Jesus own words found in John 13:35 (NLT) “35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Knowing some of you are not as privileged as I in knowing the many activities that took place during IMPACT SHELBY 2014, I will attempt to summarize for you. You in your own special activity carried the Love of the Living Christ to those He Loves but are sometime taken for granted, forgotten or ignored by the general public.
Nine different work projects were completed, the last one on Monday morning. They ranged from simple yard clean-up for some elderly residents to landscape and mulch work for two public entities, Heritage Elementary and Simpsonville Park. At the Simpsonville Park, about 40 youth and adults spread two trailer truck loads of mulch around the play equipment to make it safe for play by those in the community. One generous family purchased, prepared and served the lunch meal for this mammoth team of labors for Christ.
Another team did extensive landscape work for a lady unable to clean the beds and spread the 80 bags of mulch. But she did provide delicious home baked rolls for the team and helped where she could. This is a perfect example of “receiving a blessing while providing a blessing”. Similar blessings were received by teams all day from the recipients of the labor of love being shared but I cannot recall all.
Three teams did construction projects. One built benches for outside seating at a facility where primarily seniors live and another did simple exterior home repair for a single lady. The third team took down a deteriorated ramp which had caused the user to turn over in his wheelchair and replaced it with one this early 50 year-old can safely travel to enter and exit his home.
The Food and Hospitality team provided a wonderful beginning for the day as we fellowshipped in the registration area. But it surely went beyond that; Christian love and hospitality went to Main Street, an IMPACT Block Party. Free food, fellowship and a bouncy for children were enjoyed by many. Approximately 240 grilled hot dogs were served to the people visiting. The Kentucky State Police representative was most pleased with the number of parents taking advantage of their children’s fingerprinting service just in case of a future emergency.
An ongoing ministry at Centenary, Kids Korner, joined IMPACT SHELBY for the day since the 19th was their regularly scheduled meeting day. And the leaders used this time to have their own ministry project for the day. They went to the nearby Laundromat offering free quarters and a scripture verse in an Easter egg for those present. They also promoted the free food on the lawn on Main Street. Their efforts proved fruitful as many came and again experienced Christ’s Love in a tangible way.
The Children’s Team for IMPACT did share part of their day with Kids Korner but also did their own thing. They had promoted the idea of providing items for Backpack, the Women’s shelter or the Men’s shelter. The quantity of items received was significant. Separating and re-boxing the items was the first task before delivery. Then the Piped Piper adults led the children pulling a wagon full of supplies to the Backpack storage center (It took two trips). A longer trek down Main Street was needed to reach the Women’s shelter supply storage. The Men’s shelter items were delivered by the adults. But all enjoyed their mission experience and blessings will be received by young and old, female and male, because children are being taught the value of mission.
Bakers prepared over 160 dozen cookies. And some of those were donated by people not associated with the churches in any way but believed in the mission and wanted to help. Of course those delicacies were divided by the Notes of Appreciation Team among the 360 First Responders, police, service providers, etc. plus the 320 employees of the nursing home and assisted living facilities.
This same team added a very personal touch to their “baskets of appreciation” delivered on Saturday and the following Monday. Tokens of appreciation appropriate to the group plus personal notes, scripture verses and devotional books filled these baskets. As last year, comments as to “I cannot believe you are just giving this to us because you care” were common. Also visible signs from last year’s IMPACT SHELBY were present and comments were made about their significance to the group. As Bishop Davis said in his devotional and send off, “a gift or act of love we believe to be small is enlarged by God to serve His purpose in ways we never know when our act is done out of our Love for following Christ’s example”.
Our Visitation Team visited all of the nursing home and assisted living facilities. Some 320 residents were offered Christian Love in a most special way. One of the IMPACT SHELBY leaders, Wilda Woodyard, spearheaded a group that knitted, sewed or made in some fashion a Prayer Shawl for each resident. During this process, there was the lingering question “Had they made enough” and calls had to be made to various volunteers to bring their extras to some point as that group was short. But as the great fishes and loaves story in the Bible, all were provided a shawl and there were some left, two (2) at last count. God is our Provider!
Verbal Thanks abound in this area and one written Thank You note has been received for a shawl. The individual has written“Thank you so much for your thoughts and for the time you put in making this warm shawl for me and the many others you have made to make us warm.”
By headcount the Prayer Team was smaller in number this year but surely not in dedication, zeal and perseverance. They shared the approximate 200 prayer requests across the seven congregations. Some of those homebound Prayer Warriors were in a nursing home or medical facility but gave it their best all through the day. Another told me he had to travel that day but the format allowed him to stop have someone else drive while he prayed each hour. Four individuals representing four different congregations stayed together the entire day in the Prayer Chapel praying, singing, reading scripture/hymns and just generally worshipping the Risen Lord as they added other things to the format. This group along with a few other individuals not only had their church’s list but the entire list of 200 requests. Their burning passion was to make sure each request was carried to God’s Throne multiple times on April 19th.
By registration count there were about 210 people but clearly there were many more that signed in that morning or just showed up. Yes, some were unable to attend at the last moment but God’s Provision always exceeds those who could not attend. The worship time with Bishop Davis was estimated by all parties to be as full if not fuller than 2013. So yes the purple-shirted (for the most part) participants in IMPACT SHELBY 2014 were large in number and spirit, filled to overflowing with the Love of Christ seeking a venue to share. And you shared your gifts and graces.
Thanks to all for being a “Good and Faithful Servant of Christ”!!!