Praise in the pandemic
by Stan Parker
LANSING, MI – The whole world has been impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Our nation and neighborhoods have not been excluded. As Christians, we have to choose how we are going to respond. Will we complain as we have seen some in the nation do, or will we respond as Jesus would desire us to respond?
On March 13, 2020 children from the Potter-Walsh neighborhood approached some members of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. They were hungry. The children said that their schools are handing out lunches, but they are unable to receive it because no buses were operating. The scripture, Matthew 19:14 came to mind for those members, ”But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
As a result, the members took the children into the church and provided lunch. The following week the Governor closed all schools which meant children in the neighborhood would need to be fed. So, a call went out seeking volunteers who would be willing to come, and prepare lunches for the children in the Potter-Walsh neighborhood during the pandemic.
The call was answered, and the ‘Lunch on Us’ Feeding Program was born. A group of volunteers rotate each week, and prepare 300 lunches weekly. The children are being fed each week. We praise God. After seeing smiles on the faces, one of the volunteers asked, “Why can't we put smiles on their hearts, too.”
The next week gospel tracts were prayed over and added to the lunches. The following Monday the father of one of the children, came to pick up lunches for his entire family, and said he was thankful for the help, but was more thankful to receive a bonus. We asked what the bonus was; Jeff stated the gospel tract which prompted his son to read the track, and then asked why we don’t go to church? The dad said he really didn’t have an answer, but once the church opens back up, he and this family will start attending. Praise God.
The praise reports have continued. A mother has started attending a small group Bible Study and says she will join us in worship once the doors of the church are opened. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some pain, suffering, and even death, it has not shattered God's love. Thanks be to God we are able to praise him, even in the midst of a pandemic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Stan Parker, Pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church Lansing, President of the Michigan African American Fellowship, married to Charlotte.