January 2-8, we were blessed to have a 5 person mission team from Central Church in College Station, TX come serve alongside us. Pastor Randy, his wife Karla, Mark and his wife Katy and Pastor Steve came to spend a week here in Oak Ridge and y’all, they were a HUGE blessing to us and our community!
3 mornings, they handed out bags of food in 3 different areas in our community. They gave out 700 pounds of food in total and it was a huge blessing to those in our community as some of these areas are very poverty stricken. The bags of food contained rice, beans and maseca and was enough to provide a meal to each person who received one. Before giving out the bags of food, Mark, Katy & Pastor Steve led some worship songs and then I shared the gospel with all those who were there. We also prayed over them and then handed out the food.
L: Singing with the kids at one of the food distributions
R: One of the little boys that hung out with us one day
This is the end of one of the food distribution lines. Roatan is a beautiful place to live and if you were to Google it, you would see pictures of what appears to be a paradise, beautiful beaches, lots of tourists excursions, and the beautiful MesoAmerican barrier reef that borders the island. But that is only one part of Roatan…..the reality is that most islanders and people who live here can’t afford to enjoy those places. For most of them, this would not be “paradise” and they find themselves living very difficult lives. The average days income here for a full day (often of very hard work) is just 300 lempiras and at the current exchange rate that is just $12.33 a day! Jobs here are actually difficult to find and the cost of living here is extremely expensive since everything has to be imported (groceries, propane for cooking, clothes/shoes, etc.). So most people are extremely grateful to get one meal of food and that is one reason we love doing food distributions because we can meet physical needs while sharing the gospel to help meet spiritual needs too.
In the afternoons, the team hosted a vacation Bible school for kids at our church! They had over 40 kids attend this event and everyone seemed to love it. The theme was “Designed by God, Built for a Purpose” and each day they sang fun worship songs led by Katy, learned a Bible story, made a craft that went with the lesson, played some sports games and had a snack. This was a fun way to share the gospel with the kids and also show them that coming to church can be fun.
Pastor Randy preached at our Sunday morning service and Pastor Steve, Mark & Katy led worship for us. The congregation was truly blessed by them sharing their gifts with us and we look forward to having them back soon, Lord willing! We had an incredible week serving alongside all of them and thank God for the new friendships and ministry partnership that were formed. We thank Central Church for serving and investing in what God is doing here in Oak Ridge. (…Gig Em Aggies!)