This summer was like a breath of fresh air as we hosted six mission teams who served alongside us for a ministry-filled summer here at God’s Appalachian Partnership. After a year of having no mission teams and limited ministry due to COVID-19, the staff was excited to engage our communities with the Gospel. We continued with drive-thru distribution and teams served families a hot meal in to-go-boxes, prayed with them, and shared the Gospel. Our GAP families loved the interactions and delicious food they were served!
We had five weeks of Day Camps (four days each week) for children in our area in three different locations. One week, we hosted two different Day Camps at different locations. We had a wonderful turn out averaging 10-12 children each day. The teams did a tremendous job not only sharing the Gospel Message but also showing the love of Christ with these children. Once the camps ended and teams left, many of the kids would ask for team members by name.
After a long pause in ministry, we were so excited to be back into the Group Home to visit our precious friends. It had been a year since the staff had been in the facility due to COVID-19. Some of our old friends had passed away, others had moved, a few were still there, but it did not take long to make many new friends! What a blessing it is to visit and minister here each week. Plus, we were able to start back at the Senior Citizens Building for about three weeks this summer. How we have missed seeing their smiling faces, even through masks!
Throughout the summer, several teams continued to help us minister to families affected by the March 1st flood with home repairs. The Lord has given us amazing opportunities to share the Gospel and build relationships with many families we would have never had the opportunity to meet before. One mission team helped us host a block party in a community greatly affected by the flooding. It was very special to see families who were once so overwhelmed by disaster, join together and be blessed by the fellowship of community and the great love of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in our county, on July 22nd we had to cancel the rest of the mission teams for July, August and September. Later the difficult decision was made to cancel all teams through the rest of 2021 calendar year. We did not come to this decision lightly but for several weeks the number of cases in our region were extremely high. Many of our families had to cancel distribution appointments because they were sick with COVID-19. Please pray for our region as it is being hit hard by this pandemic.
We praise God for the following partner mission teams that were able to serve alongside of us this summer: Lawndale BC (Lawndale, NC), Forks of Elkhorn BC (Frankfort, KY), Wake Cross Roads BC (Raleigh, NC), Memorial BC (New Haven, MO), Parksville BC (Parksville, KY), and South Orlando BC (Orlando, FL).