Growing up I often heard, and as a pastor I know I have given the counsel, “When God closes a door, he opens a window”. It is a very cliché thing to say, but in these months, we can tell you that this is precisely what has happened.
Like the rest of the world, the year 2020 has been a bust so far. After over 4 months of pandemic and the reality that it will continue at least for the near future, for many it seems like all ministry has come to a halt. Churches are reeling and people are up in arms that they can’t return to worship with their friends and family all together. We live in a different reality. It kind of seems like the reality that we had grown accustomed to ended abruptly, kind of like the door to our future was slammed in our faces.
For many of us, and for many different reasons, it is easy to see this as an apocalyptic event. How will we survive? Will we ever return to “the way things were?” So many questions, but in our looking for answers it seems that just as the old adage goes, “God opened a window”.
Our family left Bolivia on the last day in April due to the pandemic and very soon after we got back, we got a call from a colleague with an interesting question. An old college friend was in touch with her and shared that he worked for Wheaton College and they needed to provide cloth masks for every student to return to classes in the fall. He was wondering if she knew of any one needing work or a ministry that needed funds. This is where we come in.
We had been praying for an opportunity to raise money for the House of Hope and the Project of Hope Foundation for months, as the giving had been down, and with the pandemic our resources had dropped and we were in the “red”. This money would bring us not just back into the positive side, but give us a cushion we could use for the rest of the year. It wasn’t what we were hoping for, but as I said before…it was a window of opportunity.
We consulted with colleagues and friends and determined to put out the clarion call to see what we could come up with. So many of you came out in full force. Whether it was just 10 masks or one church that did over 500, it was like over 100 churches and individuals just jumped through the window to help us out.
From every part of the US, men and women, quilting groups and Sunday school classes stepped up and in just Over 2 months we were able to ask for, receive, sort, package, and send just over 10,000 masks to Wheaton College and receive $10,000+ to go toward the ministry.
What a great blessing to be able to start out our year of US/Puerto Rico assignment with such a successful project. It is simply because people from all across the United States joined together to help one ministry meet a goal.
Now here is the question: What do you think would happen if we could capitalize on that momentum to try and do work in our communities. Churches and ministries coming together to help feed the homeless, or provide clothes for those who couldn’t buy on their own.
Maybe we could extend the hand of hospitality to those who were struggling with addiction and help them overcome it, or even to work together to care for those that are undergoing trauma due to the Coronavirus (whether physical or emotional). What could happen if we as the citizens of the Kingdom of God would actually put our King (Jesus) first and actually do what we can to bring about His will in the world?
Do you hear that? I think it sounds like another window creaking open.