On June 3rd, Lynn Haven UMC hosted a mobile food pantry at our Fusion campus. We handed out 89 boxes of food and provided fresh produce, meat, baked goods and more to over 270 people in need in Bay County. Over 50 volunteers came to unpack and distribute the boxes of food. It was a wonderful day of service, and many families were able to serve together. Prayer and spiritual guidance were offered to each person in attendance. In addition to the boxes of food handed out, we were able to give the Rescue Mission a good donation of much needed food. One volunteer at the Rescue Mission said this donation was an answered prayer because funding had been cut, and the organization was in great need of food. The next mobile food pantry will be July 29th.
Quick Uganda Team Update from Doris Hast – It has been an amazing trip. No Home Depot here, so building things takes time! Here is a picture of the church frame as it stands today. Jack and Dale are confident they can get the structure and roof completed next week, and the locals will be able to finish up the metal sides, doors and windows. Camp with the kids has also gone well! Please pray that the seeds we planted will yield an abundant harvest for the Lord! Thank you, again, for your support and for helping to build God's Kingdom in Uganda! Kendall and I will be travelling back to the US on Sunday-Monday.
With the many activities that go on in our church every day, it’s sometimes easy to overlook or take for granted the many things that God’s hand is visible in within our congregation and community. It’s for that reason that we dedicate this space to shining a light on God-sightings each month. This month, Our Risk Taking Mission and Service Coordinator, Katie Fanning, sends us this God-sighting from one of our international missions. Enjoy this example of how God uses our people and offerings to positively impact people all over the world. Ongoing relationships with our friends around the world are one of the things we strive for on our Risk Taking Mission and Service team. We’ve supported and been encouraged by Jorge and Yulimar Martinez in Durango, Mexico for many years as we’ve built a relationship with his family. Jorge leads a congregation and ministers to their community and it’s a joy to call he and Yulimar friends. Recently, Jorge’s step-father, who served as a father figure in his life, passed away. As a result of your generosity to our church, we were able to send him many sympathy cards and a $500 love offering to help with any expenses incurred during such a difficult time. In response, Jorge sent this thank you to our church: “Thank you so much! Actually there are no words to express our gratitude for your concern, love and care in situations such as this. Most of all thank you for your prayers and love. Please extend our heart to everyone in Lynn Haven. We love you very much!
May God bless you!”
Katie Fanning Risk Taking Mission & Service Coordinator
A huge God Sighting occurred this morning at 8:30 AM. Gary Huff noticed his neighbor, Frank Smith, had a fence down from last weeks storm. Gary got on the phone and called his crew. Before long Bill, Mike and John were on the job. Supervisor on the job was a fellow named Jesus. He was all over the crew to get the job done. In less that 2 hours, the fence was up.
Now just to be clear, this was a temporary repair. The professional fence guy will on the job in about a week to build the final version of Frank's fence. And, Jesus will there overseeing the job!
The Good Friday Tenebrae service held on April 14th, was a deeply emotional journey into the re-telling of the agony that befell our Lord and Savior in the last days of His human life. Tenebrae, or darkness, gradually overtook the sanctuary as we traveled down the path that led to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The sounds of the choir singing and the poignant messages spoken from God’s Word echoed in our hearts and minds as we recalled the great act of love and sacrifice that Jesus made willingly on our behalf. Hearts were heavy and tears fell as we witnessed the silent carriage of the Christ candle as it made its way flickering down the darkened aisle. But we knew this wasn’t how the story would end. Attendees exited the service in silence and sadness, but found comfort in the promise of salvation through our soon to be resurrected Savior. He is Risen, indeed!
On Wednesday April 12, 2017 over 150 members of our church participated in the Upper Room Footwashing and Communion service. Young and old alike took part in this meaningful event where we practiced humbling ourselves in servanthood through the act of symbolically washing each other’s feet as we have been instructed to do in John 13:1-17 (NLT). It was a blessing to witness God moving through His people as they carried out this simple, but powerful display of love for one another. The evening was concluded with a time of prayer and sharing in the sacrament of Holy Communion.
In Bible times, the dusty and dirty conditions of the region and the wearing of sandals necessitated foot-washing. Although the disciples most likely would have been happy to wash Jesus' feet, they could not conceive of washing each other's feet. This was because in the society of the time, foot-washing was reserved for the lowliest of menial servants. Peers did not wash one another's feet, except very rarely and as a mark of great love. Luke points out (22:24) that the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest among them, an attitude that precludes a willingness to stoop to wash feet. When Jesus moved to wash their feet (see also John 13:1-16), they were shocked. His actions serve also as symbolic of spiritual cleansing (vs. 6-9) and a model of Christian humility (vs. 12-17). By washing His disciples’ feet, Jesus taught the lesson of selfless service that was supremely exemplified by His death on the cross.
Mission trips are very important to me because they help me snap back to reality. It is so easy to get caught up in the stresses of everyday life and that can make us take the small things for granted. For example, having a roof over our head, having food in our stomach, etc. I saw the Lord at work while we served at the hunger project on our recent mission trip to Nashville last week. On one of our projects some of the students paired up and carried 50 pound bags to each table - there were 40 tables there. Then a majority of the group assembled boxes to transport the bags of food. It was a very humbling moment to see everyone in an assembly line working together as a team to put together as many boxes as possible. My heart was filled with compassion, for the families that are less fortunate, and also for the students. The fact they spent their time and money during Spring Break helping bag food for families that are less fortunate is truly compelling. This trip was full of laughter and joy, but most importantly, it was full of love. Love for our fellow brothers and sisters, and most importantly, love for Christ. It was an honor to serve and be the light of Christ for so many people. A great big thank you to our church for supporting Youth Ministry and giving us opportunities to serve like this.
Easter eggsplosion was a blast! We had 725 people attend and about 100 total serving with their families!! We had 5 egg hunts with about 2,000 eggs each!! The gym was filled with inflatable fun that the kids all enjoyed! We served some yummy snacks, visited with the Easter bunny for pics and had some amazing young people in our church face painting! The highlight this year was our Walk to Easter, where the kids visited 5 stations where speakers told them pieces of the Easter story and then they got surprises or made things at each one! One station was the prayer station, where the kids heard how Jesus took time to pray because He knew what was coming. The kids then wrote on a prayer Wall, that we have hung up in Treeasure Cove. It is so precious to read the prayers of children!! Come by and check it out and include them in your prayers! It was an amazing day that would not be possible without our serving team! Thank you so much for everyone who served, they truly showed the love of Christ. And a big thank you to all the donations of eggs and candy, we had more eggs this year then ever before!! We are already looking at ways to make it even better next year!!!
From the News Herald
Lynn Haven UMC runs its program a little differently, holding massive food distribution days with trucks’ worth of food every few months. The line often extends out into the parking lot.
In February, the church gave out 125 boxes of food to needy families, some of whom already had come by for past donations, which enabled the church to strike up a relationship and pray for recipients. They gave out another 5,000 pounds of food Friday.
“God has always provided every single truck,” Howell said. “We have fresh produce, frozen meat, baked goods and cereal. It’s about enough to feed a family for one to two weeks.”
While recipients at Center for Hope must be below the poverty threshold, at Lynn Haven UMC, people must fill out a form beforehand but otherwise aren’t required to show an ID or prove they’re in dire financial straits.