I would like to share with you a wonderful ministry opportunity here in our community. Several months ago Pastor Jill Burcham of P.U.S. H. asked our fellowship to be a part of their food pantry ministry by delivering food boxes in the Fancy Gap-Hillsville area.. Since that time we have been making monthly deliveries of food all over Carroll County and the surrounding area. We have found that going to people’s homes has provided us with the chance to find out what other kinds of needs folks have as well. What has surfaced time and time again is the lack of transportation. Elderly and disabled folks need a way to get to a doctor or hospital. People who are getting food stamps often continue to go hungry because they do not live within walking distance of a grocery store and have no way to get there. Children go without medication because the family has no way to the drug store.
This week alone I have received four requests from folks who need to get to doctors’ appointments or medical treatment. One is a follow-up visit after surgery, another is for an individual to get fitted for a prosthetic leg so he can walk again, and another is for a cancer treatment. Some of the appointments are the same day in different places, so from this group I have to choose which ones will get help and which will not. And while I am committed to this ministry, I do have other responsibilities and cannot give every day to transporting folks. We desperately need for volunteers to help with this ongoing ministry in our community.
Some have suggested we consider purchasing a van. What I have found, however, is that a huge part of this ministry involves much more than transportation. The one on one time spent with these folks is vital. Most of them have a real need to just tell their stories and to have someone really listen. They need someone who will share their joy and relief at a good report from the doctor and feel their pain when the news is not good, to comfort them, pray for them, and let them know someone cares.
It is really a ministry of being present with people, offering hope and encouragement.. Jesus told his disciples, “follow me and you will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” That is why we have chosen to call this ministry “ Follow Me – A Journey into Light” because so many feel trapped in the darkness of poverty and hopelessness..
Our friends at P.U.S. H. have generously offered to help us with some basic training for volunteers who would like to help transport folks to doctors, grocery stores, etc. If you are interested in becoming a part of this vital ministry in our community, please call Pastor Jill Burcham at P.U.S. H. (276) 235-1059 or you can reach me at (276) 730-0254. Your participation will make a difference in someone’s life.
Tony Lowe, Pastoral Minister
Fancy Gap Friends Fellowship