“And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face……And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.
(Acts 20:25, 37-38 – NASB95)
We are inching ever closer to that time of year when we will once again watch the classic movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” We all know the angelology in the movie isn’t orthodox, but we are moved by the premise of being able to see what life would be like if a specific person never existed. We know the Apostle Paul made a huge impact on the lives of multitudes of people, but it’s not uncommon for people to wonder if (and/or doubt that) their life is making a positive impact on anyone. The same concern can come upon a local church. Would the world miss The Bridge Bible Fellowship if we didn’t exist? Are we making any difference? Especially during this pandemic?
What if our church wasn’t here in 2020? What positive impact have we made during the Covid-19 pandemic? How have we helped with the racial tensions or the rioting / violence / looting? How have we helped with the growing problem of homelessness? What about the blight of abortion? What about all the people around the world who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ? Are we doing anything?!?
Now that you are thinking about those questions, let me answer them for you… “yes, Yes, and an emphatic YES!”
What have we done to shine the light of Jesus in a dark time? Let me list just a few of the things the Lord has done through our corporate body in 2020:
- Benevolence fund helping people who need assistance paying bills. The money you give above and beyond your tithes each month to the benevolent fund is a blessing to unemployed and underemployed church members.
- Modeling ethnic diversity. When you look at our church you see people from a large number of ethnic backgrounds united in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2). We are demonstrating that the gospel is the answer to the ethnic (racial) problems in the world.
- Cleaning up buildings that were vandalized & looted. Some families in our church specifically went to the areas where looting occurred and help the store owners clean up. Thank you to the Pircey family and others who did this!
- Supporting our local law enforcement. Your generosity enabled us to provide In-N-Out meals, Gideon New Testaments, and personal, hand-written thank you cards to four different police stations (see thank you letters from two of the stations).
- Supporting Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic. The money we are raising for the Walk For Life on Oct. 10th will help Open Arms serve hundreds of people in crisis pregnancies this coming year. Babies will be rescued. People will come to saving faith. Marriage will be strengthened. Heaven will rejoice!
- Gifts for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. The items you donated will enable Hope of the Valley to meet specific needs of a large number of homeless people in the coming days.
- Church planting gift to Ambassador Bible Fellowship. Our daughter church in Meridian, Idaho needed financial help so their youth worker could devote full-time to his administrative and youth ministry responsibilities. We were able to send money to assist with that. Teenagers and families will be impacted for eternity.
- Generous monthly gifts for missionaries. The monthly offerings for missionaries that we take usually take for a specific missionary in our Adult Sunday School classes have been exceptional. In September alone, over $5,000 came in for Ryder & Flory Kumar and their amazing ministry with Shepherding The Nations (STN) in India & Nepal. STN is currently training over 700 pastors / church planters / church leaders to plant churches and impact unreached people for Christ in India and Nepal. Ryder & Flory were overwhelmed with emotion when we told them how much was donated.
- Faithful prayer. Individually, in small groups, in our Thursday morning Zoom prayer meeting for missionaries, etc., you have been praying fervently and God is answering all over the world. And you can join us outdoors this Sunday night, 5pm, for a special time of Prayer & Praise as a church body.
These are just a few highlights; the list could go on and on. Even though we haven’t all been able to meet indoors on Sunday mornings, our church has continued to carry out our mission. Lives are being positively impacted all over the world and the angels of heaven are able to see God’s amazing grace on display. Do you think Clarence is watching?
To God be the glory, great things He is doing!