We all love the smile a gift on Christmas morning brings upon the face of a child. However, it is even more rewarding to see that child carefully and thoughtfully select a gift for their parent, grandparent, or guardian. It is a selfless act that teaches that child how it is better to give than to receive. Parents’ Store is a ministry event of God’s Appalachian Partnership where children ages Head Start to 5th grade shop for 2 adult family members, wrap the gifts themselves, and then take them home to give on Christmas morning. It is a joyfully heartwarming event where we are given the opportunity to present the true meaning of Christmas to the entire family.
This July we are hoping at least 4 churches/small groups will partner with us in this ministry event by participating in what we are calling Christmas in July 2023. Christmas in July 2023 is an opportunity for your church/small group to provide resources needed for this year’s Parents’ Store. We have created gift registries in which individuals or groups can purchase adult men and women gifts for the children to choose from. I wish I could express the care and thought each child puts into selecting their gifts. I can’t help but become just as excited as they are when their face lights up as they bring it to their family. Each year my heart is overwhelmed by the joy this brings to children who are faced with so many difficulties and challenges.
Will you stand in the GAP and partner with us this July? If you would like more information, about Christmas in July 2023, please click here.
We are excited to introduce our two summer interns. Zach Lawson is a member of Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC and has served at God’s Appalachian Partnership the last two summers on short term mission trips with his church. He is an upcoming junior at North Carolina State University majoring in Business. He arrived at GAP May 17th and will be serving as part of our team through August 4th. Zach is doing a wonderful job connecting to our families, ministering to children at the townhouses, and sharing the love of Christ!
Jhaughanessy Morris is a member of First Baptist Church of Pikeville, KY and has served at GAP with her family for the last 9 years. She is an upcoming junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Design. Jhaughanessy joined our team on May 15th and her ministry responsibilities include photography, design, Day Camp, and sharing the love of Christ!
Both of these young adults are doing an amazing job! Last week they led us as staff to have a Day Camp Preview event at the Left Beaver Townhouses. It was a great afternoon of ministry with 22 children in attendance. These interns are a huge blessing, not only to the ministry, but also to our community! Please pray for them as they serve this summer and grow in their relationship in Christ.
We are grateful for every person the Lord brings to us at God’s Appalachian Partnership. Several years ago, I had the honor of befriending a man named Walter. He came to GAP one day, bringing another man who usually rides his bicycle about 12 miles one way to get to our office. I soon discovered that Walter was a writer and used the name “The Hillbilly Poet”. Many of his poems and writings have been published in local publications over the years.
Our friendship has grown over the years, and he calls a couple times a week to share prayer requests, ask a question about the Bible, or just to hear a friendly voice. He and his wife live together in a small one room storage building which they have made into their home. They no longer drive and rarely leave except for an occasional doctor’s appointment. A few weeks ago, Walter called and said he had a problem and needed help. He and his wife are not people who ask for help lightly. Rats had invaded his little house, destroying his stove, electrical wiring, and several other things.
A mission group from Lawndale Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC, answered the call and met Walter’s need. They installed metal underpinning around his house, burying it between 5” to 7”. The couple were so pleased with all the team accomplished in just one day. Walter wrote a poem to express his gratitude. It was published in a surrounding county’s weekly newspaper. Thank you, Lawndale Baptist Church, for sharing the love of Christ! Below is the poem entitled, “Filling the Gap in the Foundation”, written by The Hillbilly Poet.
“The Poet had problems in his foundation leaking rats. God’s Appalachian Partnership sent a crew and repaired it in one day. The GAP director realized there’s no money in poetry, which sets the Poet free. The director didn’t make the Poet beg, but works for a generous God who shares the faith with people like the poor Poet. The Poet says God works through people and thanks God for Lawndale Baptist Mission Team who rescued him. We see God’s work in the people around us.”