I want to tell you a little about my church family.
Last night, we pulled up to the church building, and as we were walking in, our friend (and one of the ministers) Daniel was walking out. He corralled us and let us know that several of the youth had been in a bad car accident on their way to Bible study and he was headed to the hospital. We walked inside, placed the girls in the care of one another one of our friends, and Jeremy, the boys, and I headed for the hospital as well.
I’ll go ahead and tell you, the kids are okay. A couple of them were just banged up good – checked out at the hospital and told just to go home and rest and take it easy for a few days. Two of them were in critical condition for a little while. One got a bad concussion and a cracked sternum, but will hopefully get to go home today, or at least very soon. The other has a punctured lung and a hematoma on her brain, but is stable and doing so much better than we had originally thought she would. They will have a long recovery process, I’m sure, but praises to God that things weren’t worse.
But what I really want to tell you about is how God showed up. Not just by placing Him under His hand of protection, but through the church.
Several of us who were able dropped everything immediately to be at the hospital, to support the family however we could.
The gathering at the church building turned into an hour long prayer service, praying for the healing and comfort of the kids and their families.
Many more showed up at the hospital when the prayer service was over, to offer love and comfort. And I know there were countless more who would have shown up if it had been possible, and were anxiously waiting on updates.
One lady came in with an armful of water bottles to distribute to whoever needed one.
One guy left and brought back food for a few who were waiting.
One couple showed up with a bag of snacks for the parents to take with them when the kids were transferred to another hospital.
They had put the parents of the two critical kids in a private waiting area in the back, and the poor staff was having to constantly buzz the door open for a steady stream of supporters rotating in and out, checking on them and offering anything we could think to give.
I saw everyone supporting each other. There were no less than 30 people in that waiting room, and every one was taken care of. No one’s needs were unmet, even if it was just a hug, a pat on the knee, or a smile.
And the other kids in the wreck weren’t forgotten even as we waited for news of the ones in critical condition. They and their families had the same love and support shown to them. After the other two kids were transferred, several stayed to wait with them on the results of their X-rays and scans.
And prayer. Not only were they praying at the church building, but we were praying at the hospital. We were all praying inwardly, but multiple people offered up audible prayer.
Y’all, this is church. This is family. This is what it is about. Loving each other and being there for each other. Uplifting each other, and bearing burdens together. This is showing the love of Jesus. This is why I love God’s family. I know that if it had been my family in that same position, those same people would have been there for us. If you aren’t connected within our church family, it is because you choose not to be.
Now, remember we were headed to the church building last night for the gathering? You want to know what it was originally supposed to focus on?
Our vision for 2023 (and beyond). We are working on new ideas, new ways to serve our community. To develop our outreach to bring people to Christ. Not to “steal” people from other congregations, or just sit and hope someone new moves into town and decide they like the looks of our congregation, but to really reach people who don’t know Jesus. To show them His love and grace, and be His hands and feet in our community.
I think nights like last night are a good start.
If you have known me or read my blog for any length of time, you know my goal. To love like Jesus. If you don’t know Him, I would love to introduce you. And bring you into our family.