Bearing One Another's Burdens

By Linda Waara, Family of God volunteer
Thursday evenings at Family of God, before the covid-19 virus pandemic, had been a ‘Ladies night out’ event – a fellowship meal followed by a women’s Bible study led by Susan Hill. (The meal for the second Thursday of the month is provided, prepared, and served by a number of Christ Our Savior individuals.) A smaller group of people is gathered on Thursdays than on other weekdays. Meals for served for approximately 40 women and children of all ages, including some meals going home in take-out boxes for family members.

As the women have their Bible study in the fellowship hall, the children have their own lessons in the children’s ministry area of the building. (Three of the children’s teachers are Christ Our Savior members, volunteering to serve on different days of the week.)

As I write this, I praise God for all the growth He has accomplished in this southwest Detroit church over a few years! The acquisition of a wonderful church building that was in very good condition; numerous building remodeling and updating projects; the commitment and involvement of many churches and many, many individuals to the Family Of God ministry; the ordination and installation of Reverend Tyler Cronkright as Family of God’s Shepherd and Overseer of the flock! It has all been miraculous to see it unfold!

Enter: the era of the covid-19 virus! Who could imagine such an event, such a world that we now live in? I’m tired of looking at people in their Personal Protection Equipment (medical masks) everywhere I go!  I can’t see their smiles, their facial expressions, their eyes! I have trouble hearing them speak through their masks. I have trouble breathing through my own PPE! Then there’s the social distancing and quarantining – we are not meant to live like this! The economy teetering because only “essential work” is now permitted. Hospitals all over the world filled with virus-infected people - no specific meds for a cure, no vaccine. Death toll world wide nears 248,000 (number taken from the World Health Organization from their May 6 report).

During this covid-19 pandemic, Family of God’s overall ministry has had to adapt.
  •  There are no longer group gatherings for meals, Bible studies, children’s ministry.
  •  Pastor Tyler Cronkright sends out a daily devotional to his flock through YouTube.
  •  Take-out meals are provided to approximately 100 people now, patiently lined up outside Family of God’s front door.

The pandemic for the under-resourced Family of God congregants means another ‘rung down the social and economic ladder’. Already in a place that nobody wants to be in, life just got harder. The ‘luxury’ of sitting down and eating their one decent meal a day inside the church building and being able to rest in the hearing of God’s Word has evaporated for the time being.

God is still providing- meals still arrive at Family of God, served in take-out boxes.  As I view the sad sight of people lined up in a cold drizzle waiting for their food hand-outs, I wonder about their difficult lives. How? Why? Almost simultaneously, God’s Word also comes to mind, “what you do for the least of these, you do for me”, “bearing one another’s burdens”, “they will know you are my disciples by your love for one another”, “be not just hearers of the Word, but doers”.

I am grateful for Christ Our Savior’s ministry to Family of God. I am grateful to have Family of God in my life. I am grateful for Christ Our Savior congregation. God richly blessed me by placing me within Christ Our Savior – a place to grow and develop in His Word, a place to love and be loved, a place to worship and serve God.

I see how God has designed and used circumstances in my life that I might be molded and fitted like a glove for F.O.G. ministry. Many people are blessed through the Family of God ministry – God’s precious people at F.O.G., those serving there who are putting to use their Spirit-given gifts, and Christ Our Savior congregation. I see how God’s words of “blessed to be a blessing” are truly in action at Family of God. We are blessed as we bless others.

As noted previously, our second Thursday meal is no longer just for 40 women and children attending classes within the building – it is now a line of 100 people during this health pandemic.  We are in need of additional, but temporary, food donations to prepare a meal until a more ‘normal’ schedule of ‘Thursday women’s Bible study night’ resumes.  We are currently good through May.

Help the community by donating...

Beginning in June, should “sheltering in place and no large gatherings” still be in effect, our second Thursday Family Of God crew would be blessed by a few monthly donations of:  
  • package or bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • large bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
  • large bag of frozen vegetables (California blend)
  • packages of juice boxes (Capri Sun)
  • packages of cookies  
Take your pick!!

Contact Linda Waara for more information.

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