The Power of Relationships
Spring has come and has gone as fast it got here. I would like to give you a brief update on what God has been doing in and through Love INC the past few months. In May we celebrated the ministry’s 27th year with the Annual Church Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Banquet. Much thanks to Harmony Hill Baptist Church for hosting the evening and providing great hospitality. The ministry of Love In the Name of Christ is founded upon volunteers who give of their time, talents, and treasures to meet needs in the name of Christ. Each year we like to honor our volunteers and share how their investment has been fruitful.
We had a special time of recognition for the eight women who served as our clearinghouse volunteers: Helen Price, Carolyn Johnson, Cecile Braden, Jacqui Johnston, Pat Lantis, Denise Myers, Sue Spann, and Linda Welch. These women have served from seven months to 26 years in the clearinghouse answering phones and listening to neighbor’s needs. Jim Myers recognized each one with a certificate of appreciation and a small gift. God has used them to help so many people by speaking hope, love and encouragement and by connecting them to local resources. Clearinghouse volunteers are invaluable members of the Love INC ministry and we truly thank them for their faithful service. We also thanked all of the pastors and volunteers that have helped meet needs through their church this past year.
A special volunteer was recognized. Brother Vic Bass and his wife Sheila have done and continue to do so much for many hurting people in our community. In appreciation, we honored them with the Those Who Make a Difference Award for their years of service with the dental evangelism ministry through Love INC. They truly have made an eternal difference in hundreds of lives.
Much thanks goes out to Donna Busler for being the night’s keynote speaker. Mrs. Busler is the Director of the Angelina College Community Services Division Non-profit Leadership Center. Her message about the state of poverty in Angelina county was very informative and her encouragement to churches and agencies to work together to help people in such a way that empowers individuals was very inspirational.
Included in the evening’s program was a business meeting conducted by Board President Larry Lasiter who presided over the election of Board members for the 2019-2022 term. We welcome new board members Sara Lowery from First Baptist Church Lufkin, Bishop M.E. Lyons from Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church, and Kevin Taylor from Overcomer’s Through Faith Ministries. I believe they will be great additions to our team. Two board members chose to renew for another term of service: Mike Jones from Denman Avenue Baptist Church and Rev. Dr. Ed Thomas from Long Chapel CME Church. I am very thankful for each of these and look forward to working with them.
I am excited to announce the launch of our newest gap ministry in May. A gap ministry is created between Love INC and local churches to fill a hole or “gap” in services in a community. There are many young mothers in our community who fall through the cracks, so to speak, for various reasons when it comes to having enough diapers and wipes to provide for their baby. Many of these women just need enough supply to last them for another week until their next paycheck comes in or they are single moms trying to make ends meet and need a little extra help during the month. So our role as a Love INC affiliate is to mobilize a local church to step into this ministry space and meet needs. We are grateful for First Church of the Nazarene and Pastor Dr. Jerry Spann for opening up space in their church to offer diapers and wipes for these struggling moms. This ministry has limited hours and only serves neighbors through the Love INC clearinghouse. For more info about this ministry please contact Love INC. Our hope is that mothers will experience a personal touch from caring church volunteers that could translate into life transformation. Love INC exists to help churches help people and transform lives. We are excited to mobilize another church.
Pastors, if you would like more information about gap ministry, or your church is operating a gap ministry, contact me and let’s discuss how Love INC can be of service to you.