The appearance of the Corona Virus in our nation impacted every aspect of life, to include our ministry. Even with the need to close our Community Closet, after more than seven years, we found a way to serve the people of McCreary County, Kentucky, in spite of “social distancing”.
After our return from seeking medical treatment for Rita, we found our ministry center broken into and robbed. Sensing a need to close the center, we spent a few months insuring that the remaining inventory of clothing, and other items, was directed to agencies who also assist the needy families in our community. Integrated Community Ministries, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Pine Elementary School were the beneficiaries of these goods, including clothing, furniture and other fixtures.
The advent of “virtual schooling” brought unique challenges to local families. We budgeted several thousand dollars to various programs, to include the Summer Feeding Program at the local school.
In conjunction with our assistance to our school, we funded a few larger items for families in need, to include beds and a new refrigerator.
When a small country church found themselves without a place to meet and worship, we sat with them and determined that access to their proposed building site was a great issue. We arranged for $1,500 worth of gravel to be delivered to the very rural location.
The need for Covid-precautions was paramount throughout the year. As a part of our ongoing partnership with the local Mission Home facility, we provided quality mattress protection for the thirty-two beds in their center.
During the third quarter of 2020 we prayerfully discerned a need to provide a more focused level of assistance to the young (and young at heart) mothers of infants in our county. The vision for “The New Life Health and Hope Center” (NLC) quickly became a reality. Through this outreach we will be able to provide help, in a great many forms, to needy Moms. From the bewildered teenager to the grandparent who has accepted custody, we’ve already provided cribs, car seats, diapers, bottles and many other items of necessity. More than material help, we are positioning ourselves to enjoy a deeper level of relationship with our “clients”.
The need for a new location for the NLC is being addressed through the renovation of a part of the warehouse that we’ve utilized for the past six years. We’ve spent the past two months undertaking this construction, insuring that we provide a safe, comfortable haven for those who seek our assistance.
We continued in our annual tradition to provide Christmas gifts to the children of remote “Clark Hollow” in our county. Working with a church in that area, we obtained toys and other items for dozens of kids who were hoping for some Christmas happiness amidst the Covid concerns.
Finally, throughout the year we continued to connect with people who we feel are somewhat “marginalized” by circumstances. We’ve delivered food and medicine to a number of elderly, drove them to doctor appointments, and been available with pastoral comfort whenever they had fears or concerns. In other words, we simply spent 2020 showing people how to take care of one another... and THAT is the heart of our mission!