I am so pleased by your response to Operation Inasmuch and by the feedback I have heard from each of the projects. There was a wonderful energy among our members, and I am very pleased by the amount of work we completed and the ways we were able to minister. Thanks to each of you who participated in any way – whether working with us on Saturday or by donating items or baking casseroles. We owe special thanks to the members of the Missions Team – Barbara Rowley, Julian Abery, Joan Burke, Amy Sauls, and Julie Stoops.
We were able to pack 33 boxes to send to soldiers overseas, 200 hygiene kits that were distributed to residents at McDougal Apartments, 35 homeless kits to be distributed around town, 12 casseroles for the Caring House, and 12 beautiful blankets that were taken to Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital. Our children seemed to enjoy coloring pictures to go into the soldier boxes, and the group writing letters to the faculty and staff at Jordan High School shared many laughs while creating wonderful letters to let these educators know that they are prayed for and appreciated. We had a hard-working crew painting at the IHN Day House and another group sorting and organizing a storage room for IHN. The group at the Durham Rescue Mission’s Thrift Store had a productive time organizing donated clothes, and we led a time of worship and singing at two retirement homes (Durham Regent and Emerald Pond) where our members also enjoyed visiting with those residents. Our first ever Block Party at Oak Creek Village was also a success. We provided hot dogs and other goodies as well as games, bubbles, face painting, and balloon animals for about 75 residents of Oak Creek, and we had several meaningful opportunities to encourage families and invite them to worship with us at Hope Valley.
I confess that I was particularly pleased to see so many children and youth working alongside our adults in several of the projects. What a blessing it is when we can work together across generations and experience the joy of being a true family of faith!
On a different topic, I feel great personal sadness as we prepare to send Chase Thompson off into the plans and future God has in store for him. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Chase and am grateful for his friendship and the effective ministry he has offered with our youth, young adults, and the church as a whole. Chase is an extremely talented minister and will be used by God in amazing ways. I am glad we have had the opportunity to be blessed by his ministry and his love for God and people. We will miss him, but I am confident that you will join me in praying for him as he graduates and follows God’s leading to the next phase of life and ministry. You are all invited to a catered luncheon in Chase’s honor on Sunday, May 5th after the worship service. I hope you will show your appreciation to him for a job well done!