First Church of the Nazarene from Glasgow, KY was at GAP September 6th-11th, 2015. This team may have been small in number but through the Lord they accomplished a lot in the midst of rain. They built a side porch with roof onto the Educational Building at Elk Ridge plus installed the side entrance door to the building. The team did a wonderful job serving and ministering to the clients during BeansTalk on Tuesday. They also made a few home visits of clients with the staff. Thank you Glasgow First Church of the Nazarene for being the hands and feet of Jesus! You have been such a blessing! (Click on the image below to view more pictures!)
Evangel Baptist Church from Lewistown, PA ministered at GAP August 9th through 14th, 2015. The team of nine arrived with hearts prepared to serve and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The team divided into three smaller teams, each with their own focus and objectives. Two teams were construction ministry teams that remolded a family’s bathroom and re-supported and floored an elderly lady’s kitchen. The third team consisting of all women focused upon using their talents of cake decorating, facials, and manicures to minister to many of our client women. The cake decorating classes were a huge success with our clients! It was exciting to see them use their God-given creativity. These classes allowed relationships to be built and the Gospel shared. The construction ministry teams knew their focus was not just to do some home remolding but to share God’s message of Hope. One client whose home they worked on accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior during the week! Praise the Lord! Thank you Evangel Baptist Church for faithfully sharing the love the Jesus Christ through your words and deeds! (Click on image below to view more pictures!)
The entire month of December seemed to fly by. God provided numerous opportunities to share the Gospel this past Christmas Season. I want to begin by saying thank you to all the generous donors and partners who made Christmas Project 2014 a great ministry event. Thank you to the many, many sponsors and for all who volunteered as personal shoppers and ministered alongside of us.
The Stephenson’s Christmas Store was open for five days this year. Most of the volunteers who worked this store came from different parts of our state and from different cultures than our clients. However, as the 415 client families came into the store this year to shop the walls of difference came down and relationships were built. As parents, we all want to pick a special gift for each of our children to open on Christmas morning. With that goal in mind, volunteers served as personal shoppers for each of our client families.
As soon as parents arrived at the Christmas Store they signed in and then they were greeted with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and homemade cookies. As they waited for their appointment, clients enjoyed these refreshments and were engaged into conversation. Each family had a personal shopper that helped them find just the perfect gift for each child in their family and carried all their gifts out to their vehicle. Some families only had one child but others had as many as 10 children! The time spent with the clients at their vehicles was some of the most meaningful.
It was wonderful to see some of the expressions of excitement on our clients when they came into the Christmas Store. Many clients shared their deepest gratitude for this ministry event. It was an honor to let them know that it was God who provided all these toys for them to choose from because He loves them and cares for their family. We went on to share about the greatest Christmas gift of all – Jesus Christ and the gift of eternal life! When a client named Evelyn was leaving the store, she said through teary eyes, “Thank you, thank you, thank you! All my son wanted for Christmas this year was a bicycle and I had no idea where I was going to get one. Praise God!”
Sometimes we shed tears of joy and at other times it was tears of sorrow. Parents shared prayer request after prayer request and most of the time we felt ill-equipped to deal with all the pain and sorrow that our clients shared. However, we did the one thing we could and we took their request before our Heavenly Father. There were so many parents raising their grandchildren and even their great-grandchildren. One client had come to the Christmas Store the very first day it was opened and shopped for her 3 children. The very next day she lost all her material possessions when her trailer caught on fire. Another client had just lost her mother-in-law four days earlier. She needed someone to listen and pray with. This particular lady had already come for her scheduled appointment the week before but she stopped by to let us know about the death of her family member. It was at that moment of trying to minster to this lady that I realized GAP is much more than just a place to get things. GAP had become family to some of the clients. We had become their church family.
On December 18th we had our annual Parent’s Store. This ministry event allows children to choose Christmas gifts for two parents. This year the children were so excited to see some new faces. We added several special Christmas costumes to this ministry event that our volunteers wore. The excitement on their faces when they met back with their parents with two wrapped gifts was priceless! Once again this event focused on the real gift of Christmas. Parents and children watched a drama that informed us all about the true purpose of Christmas.
We added a new event to Christmas Project 2014! In years past, GAP has always delivered toys to parents in several low-income housing apartment complexes in Floyd County. However, this year we took the Christmas Store and Parent’s Store to one of these complexes. In partnership with a mission team from SC, we contacted a one day ministry event at Warco Apartments. In the afternoon, we had scheduled appointments for parents to shop for their children. Later on we set up a Parent’s Store and allowed the children to shop for their parents. In the evening we held a community Christmas party which included games, music, puppets, devotional, and ended with a birthday cake for Jesus!
The purpose of all these events was to share the Gospel message. I would like to ask you to continue praying for all 415 families and 1,117 children touched by Christmas Project 2014. Pray that each time the parents see their children play with these toys and when the parents see the gifts their children gave them that they will be reminded of God’s love and salvation He offers them. Pray that He will use these gifts for His glory and purposes! Once again, many thanks to generous donors and dedicated volunteers who made Christmas Project 2014 such a great success! Thank you for giving a simple gift that could have an eternal value!
Times Square Church from New York helped GAP this week by putting together some food boxes and doing a great job on distribution day feeding our clients and washing the windows on their vehicle. They also visited the group home and prayed with them for some needs that they have. They went to Warco and Weeksbury and provided some fun, games and pizza for the children. They brought some great money saving tips to our class on Thursday and even made some homemade bread and Sumac lemonade from the Sumac tree. Thanks for a great week! (Please click on pic below to view more photos.)
New Work Fellowship from Hopkinsville, KY did a great job ministering throughout the community this week. They had a “Ms. Helen” day, who they pampered for a day. While some of the group was ministering to Ms. Helen others were working on “saving the bear” and others worked on the Senior’s Citizen Building. They also replaced 11 windows at Carletta H’s home and had a fellowship cookout for the neighborhood. They also visited our friends at the group home. Thank you for sharing Jesus throughout the community.
What a blessing Christian Fellowship from Richmond, MO has been to GAP this week. The lodge looks like a magazine cover due to their hard work of cleaning up debris, pressure washing, and cleaning up tables and sweeping floors. We had Pinto Beans for lunch at distribution which is always a big hit on Tuesdays.They had the opportunity to stay and help us with the Community Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. The weather was beautiful and everyone had a wonderful time. Thanks Christian Fellowship for being a blessing to us and our community.
Hats off to Heartland Worship Center from Paducah, KY for the ministry they did this week. They orked at Gap’s, Director’s house, putting in a bathroom. The tile work looks really good and the house is one step closer to being finished. The warehouse and Elk Ridge are looking good due to all of the moving and rearranging that Heartland helped us with. Distribution day was a blast. Along with sharing the gospel, they fixed their famous hamburgers with all of the trimmings. Delicious!! They also had a luncheon for some folks at Weeksbury and minister to them with a devotion and some special gifts.
Times Square Church from NY ministered throughout the community, from playing Bingo with the seniors at the McDowell/Minnie Senior Citizens to preparing a luncheon for the local pastors in appreciation of what they do. BeansTalk enjoyed homemade chili and cornbread as they ministered on Tuesday to the clients that came in. The kids at Weeksbury enjoyed pizza, puppet show, face painting, and balloons while sharing the gospel. They also shared music, song and dance with our folks at the group home. Our community is always blessed by the love of Christ when they come to Floyd Co, Ky. Thank you.
First Baptist Church Augusta from GA may have had a small team but they came with a big servant’s heart to serve here in Eastern KY. Not only did they bring furniture and other items for one of the best sales that GAP has had, they helped a family of five by doing underpinning for their trailer. The underpinning will help to keep their home warm and reduce some cost on their heating bill. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus this week at GAP.
Note: New Worked served from July 7-12, 2013
New Work Fellowship (Hopkinsville, KY) ministered to an elderly lady in the community by installing a roof on her home. The lady’s family appreciated the help so much that they fed the team a hot lunch each day. During Tuesday distribution the team served the clients through fellowship, food and crafts. They then visited the group home and blessed them with crafts and fellowship.