By engaging their community in a meaningful way, the Pittsburg church demonstrated that love is an action word. Moreover, the church members proved that with the power of the Holy Spirit, they could be mighty in their service to the Master. Under the direction of Joyce Richardson, church coordinator for women's ministry, the members were divided into three teams.
The first team prayed and allowed the Holy Spirit to guide them as they entered a local Walmart. Team members greeted shoppers by expressing how much God loved them, and then they gave them a $25 gift certificate. The recipients were deeply touched, tears were shed, and some confessed that this was a miracle! A total of 30 gift certificates were given out.
The second team, carrying beautiful fruit basket gifts, visited sick and homebound members. The group prayed with them and provided much-appreciated fellowship. The message was clear that these people were loved, important, and not forgotten.
The third team remained at church in a season of prayer. There were intercessory prayers for the sick, bereaved, and those in need. Each team member prayed a personal prayer to God, then ended the night with a prayer of thanksgiving.
The following week, representatives enthusiastically shared their experiences during the worship service.
Jeanice Warden-Washington, a member of the Walmart gifting team, told of the reaction of a woman who cried and hugged her "like she was a long-lost relative.” Barbara Jones, another team member, said, “One woman confessed she was wondering 'how we were going to pay for all this stuff' and what a blessing the gift was to her.”
David Wright of the visitation team said, "If you want to enjoy Sabbath like never before, do something for others. It is like a holiday.”
Sharon Evans, a prayer team member, said she could "feel the fire coming from heaven."
Damon Washington, lead pastor, explained, "Our church shows that love in action, fueled by the Holy Spirit, can impact the community and produce great joy for all concerned. To God be the glory!"
By Leon Richardson