It sounds like an Italian soup with beans and lentils and other assorted ingredients, but it’s just a newly concocted word from the two words: Ministry Testimonies.
We often testify about what God has done in our lives. We speak of the might acts of God in the 21st century, but what about the acts of God’s people and their ministries. Ministronies takes a look at the ministry testimonies that occur week to week.
Seventy-two children each received a backpack and a box full of school supplies over the course of the first few days of the school year. Parents and children came to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to be blessed with the generosity of the community in the form of school supplies. This was the 5th year for the church’s backpack ministry and this year the Ministerial Alliance got behind this effort in a big way by making a substantial monetary contribution.
School supplies are not cheap—even with the back to school sales. Need a Kindermat? There’s a quick $10. Need several boxes of crayons? Then you had better find them when they are fifty cents or less. This ministry had sufficient supplies to equip every elementary school child with just about everything they needed to start the year. There is still a little on hand at the church for the families that move to town later in the year and can’t muster the cash for the needed supplies.
There were no requirements to participate in this ministry other than the parent’s belief that they needed a little help this year. The single cardinal rule of this ministry was that the kids had to be present to receive the supplies.
Because this Backpack Ministry is about more than rulers and crayons. It is about more than binders and notebook paper. It’s about telling every child that came to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church that God loves them. Many heard that message several times in the course of an evening.
While registration was held for 3 hours on 2 consecutive days; almost half of those registered showed up early to pick up their supplies. The ministry team is already at work developing an even flow strategy—probably involving varied appointment windows for pickup—for next year. One of the goals of every ministry this year is to spend more time with the people that the church helps. Building relationships is more important than food, coats, or even crayons.
Inclusion in the body of Christ is the road from poverty to abundant life.
Another goal of this and other similar ministries is to let children work with children. While the adult volunteers talked with the parents; other children volunteers took the children who needed supplies to pick out their own backpack. There were many sizes and styles from which to choose, but more importantly, kids were making loving connections with other kids. This was a place to learn love and ministry as a youngster.