Dear Church Family,
What an exciting time to be a part of the Southside family. Last Sunday, we were blessed to have Rev. Burt Reed to come and share with us about the ministry of International Christian Ministry. ICM has helped to build and plant over 8,000 churches around the world. As most of us left worship on Sunday, we came away realizing how fortunate we are to have the freedom of worship in America. So many people around the world put their lives and that of their families in danger, when they give their hearts to Christ, and gather to worship the Lord. Anya reminds us each week how fragile the situation is with her own family in Belarus, and that with short notice, they could lose the freedom of worship. We need to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world.
Today we fed a large crowd of folks, through our Manna ministry, and many people received help through the social service agencies of Impact Wednesday. We had approximately 175 people lined up down the sidewalk getting help with food from the Mobil Food Bank in the parking lot. I had a wonderful opportunity to speak with several persons, and invite them to church. One fellow named Jerry lives a few blocks away, and told me he had been looking for a good church to attend with his wife. He hopes to come Sunday for worship.
After everyone had left, a lady name Phyllis came by the church office, and brought a large bag of food to give to those in need. She had ridden by the church, saw the crowd of people lined up for food and said, “the Lord told me to go home, gather up some food, and come back to help those in need.” By the time she got back from Norfolk, all the people had left, which then gave us an opportunity to share together. I found out that she is a retired school teacher who loves children, and has an outreach, teaching English as a second language, to Hispanic children in the community. I invited her to worship and minister has she has an opportunity.
Then as I was leaving, a fellow named Rick, pulled into the parking lot, and wanting to park for a few minutes. He needed to visit the Lawyer across the street. He told me that he had seen the crowd lined down the sidewalk, was impressed with what we were doing, and wanted to know if we could use some help. I explained our partnership, and invited him to come back next month or possibly help in our Manna ministry. When God is at work He invites us His children, to join Him in what He is doing. As we continue to meet needs, build relationships to those God brings into our path, and share His love, the Lord will build His church.
Isaiah 58:10 NIV “ And If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched Land…”