A MOMENT FOR MISSION
"Your faithful love is priceless, God! Humanity finds refuge in the shadow of your wings." — Psalm 36:7, CEB
Emma Wooten, 85, jotted down her prayers with Scriptures and put them in her Bible. Then she prayed over the list and asked God to provide.
Her list was simple — but impossible for her to accomplish alone. Wooten's home was in dire need of repair. She had tried to insulate her water-damaged house with cereal boxes. Ceilings buckled under a leaky roof. Electrical wiring was unsafe.
Thanks to Partners in Ministry (PIM), Wooten's prayers were answered. PIM, explained the Rev. Anna Troy, "reaches people where they are and works with them to achieve their goals."
Three main areas of focus include urgent home repair, an after-school program for at-risk children and youth and a resource/referral center for area families. A community garden provides fresh, healthy food for people of all ages.
"Within each of these ministries," Troy said, "education is a key component" to equip people "to work their way out of difficult situations." In 2015-16, PIM provided urgent home repairs to more than 40 families, fed over 4,000 families and mentored more than 300 children.
As God answered the octogenarian's prayers, the PIM mission team from Canaan United Methodist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C., also benefited. "The team and our coordinators," Troy said, "were extremely blessed by Emma's love, thankfulness and faith in God."
Generous gifts on Human Relations Day enable Partners in Ministry and other Christ-centered programs to reach out to Emma Wooten and other people who long only for helping hands and loving hearts.
Loving God, give us your heart for the lost and the lonely. Teach us to see needs and do what it takes to meet them. As we reach out to those in our faith community and beyond, use us as a source of hope and unity. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday After the Epiphany/Human Relations Day – Faithful God, you powerfully bring your saving help to all who cry in pain. You have drawn us into this church to be nurtured and to work together to offer encouragement and help to others. We are grateful that you enrich us with gifts of your Spirit and tangible resources to use for your will in the world. We devote ourselves anew to your service through Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we pray. Amen. (1 Corinthians 1:1-9)
Jesus tells us that when we provide food, water, housing, clothing and medical care for strangers, we do it for him. He also said that those who visit others in prison care for him (Matthew 25).
The listing is not a multiple-choice selection. God asks – no, expects – us to engage in all of these ministries.
Jesus warns, "Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me."
If we cannot engage in these ministries ourselves, we can provide financial support for those who can.
Today we will receive the Human Relations Day offering, an opportunity to support people who engage in the ministries cited in Matthew 25.
The offering, received the Sunday before the birthday celebration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., restores relationships through ministries like Youth Offender Rehabilitation, Community Developers self-improvement programs and United Methodist Voluntary Services community- advocacy projects.
Please give generously. Through Human Relations Day, we help to fulfill Jesus' commandments.