The last quarterly mission outreach goal of 2018 may have seemed a daunting task, but to the Andalusia, Ala., Church, it was an opportunity to rally together. In their weekly Sabbath study group, eight to 15 members set aside the first 10 minutes of each lesson to discuss the needs in their community. Within the first month, the project was set. The group’s members chose to step out in faith to assist the Covington County Child Advocacy Center in providing backpacks to the children involved in their programs. There was no specific number of bags set; the only goal was to serve God and their community. Gradually, information was shared about the Advocacy Center in the church’s weekly mission update. The church learned that the center has a neutral, child-friendly setting, where child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect can receive a wide range of services. The Center brings professionals and agencies together in a multidisciplinary team to create a child-focused approach to assist with child abuse cases. The church was excited to learn that each backpack should have a Bible and Bible Stories book placed in it. Other necessary supplies included crayons or colored pencils, coloring and activity books, notebook paper, pencils and sharpeners, stuffed animals, and other small toys. A specified age range of four to 12 years of age was suggested for the backpack contents. The backpacks could be universal or gender- specific; however, some of the church women just could not pass up the lovely pink packs, and contrasting that with camouflage seemed necessary too. In early December the church was ready to stock their backpacks. One Sabbath afternoon after Bible study, the group gathered to fill the packs. A total of 20 backpacks or totes for the special children of the Advocacy Center were supplied. Their pack project was delivered to Kaci Perry, executive director of the Advocacy Center. She was surprised and elated to receive so many well-stocked backpacks. The church could do nothing else but praise God that their small Sabbath study group could bring joy to the hurting children in their community.
Gulf States | April 2019