Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians that we “should give thanks in all circumstances”. I have had to remind myself lately that there are things to be thankful for, even in a pandemic.I remember clearly when COVID-19 became real to me and I realized that it would impact the way I minister. It was just a few days before our March Buddy Break, and I had to make the difficult decision to cancel the event. Since our main goals are to offer respite to parents and a chance for kids with special needs to come together and have fun, I knew we would need to find a way to continue this important ministry. I began by contacting our families to assess their needs. The following week, I put together craft kits, mailed them out and made a demonstration video. Since then, we have had buddies calling and sending cards to our families to remind them of our love and prayers. We have also joined together with leaders from all over the US to create several virtual Buddy Break videos that include some of the activities they experience at Buddy Break.I am thankful for the deep roots that Buddy Break has developed at Greystone and in our community over the past 7 ½ years that allow us to be flexible and committed.
The second decision I dreaded was to cancel our annual Kindergarten Clinic for Refugee Hope Partners (RHP). This clinic has been held the last 4 years to enable the children entering school to have their medical exam at Cedar Point. I have found other ways to minister there (shopping for and donating food). I have focused on using my healthcare background as a resource on the Greystone COVID Think Tank.I am thankful for those who continue to minister in difficult times and for opportunities to learn more about what God is doing through them.
As a Sunday school teacher, I faced a third decision. How do we do Sunday school? Within a week or two, we figured out Zoom and started a regular weekly class. We have been able to learn, fellowship and minister together virtually. Last week we collected and donated 85 bags of breakfast foods to Interfaith Food Shuttle. We have found that our attendance is actually higher than normal for this time of year since our members can Zoom in from wherever they are.I am thankful for the patience of my SS class as we learn to Zoom together and the ability to come together each week from wherever we may be.
I still miss the old ways of being present in ministry and fellowship but I am thankful that God (who used Paul to minister from a jail cell), can still use us to minister from home.