Together in Ministry: Churches Working Toward Recovery


Several weeks ago, Pastor Greg Gebhart met with the ministry staff of Connecting Point Church of the Nazarene in Denair, California, for their weekly meeting. The staff began to pray over their church and community however; this week was different. Just a few days before their meeting, a series of storms created tornadoes that struck parts of the southern U.S. The tornadoes left a devastating path of destruction, and the stories of the children, families, and communities that were affected still filled the minds and prayers of the staff.

As they prayed, Gebhart was reminded of a story he read that morning on the Vilonia Church of the Nazarene in Arkansas. The Vilonia church had only just recovered from tornado damage suffered three years earlier when a new set of storms damaged their facility and parsonage once again.

Read the NCN article on pastor Smith and the Arkansas tornadoes.

As their meeting continued, the staff knew they had to do something to help. They decided to gather a special offering that would help bolster the recovery efforts.

“Our church is a compassionate church,” Gebhart said, “we believe in mission.”

As they began to finalize their plans for that next Sunday, the staff began to feel challenged. They were being challenged to not just give compassionately, but also to live compassionately.

Together, the staff prayed for a week to dream of what living compassion would look like as a response to the call placed on their hearts. As the leaders prayed, they each began to feel the need to respond through giving financially and volunteering in the recovery effort. After sharing their vision with the church congregation, 20 individuals committed to join the repair team, and many more have committed to support the effort.

Learn more about recovery efforts in Arkansas.

The Connecting Point Church of the Nazarene is responding with compassion to the tangible needs of the community in Vilonia.  Their prayer is that God would “help us see the need of being the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Gebhart hopes that this idea of living compassionately is one that doesn’t simply occur when disaster strikes, but is lived in their community and daily life.

Please continue to pray for those who are continuing the long journey toward recovery and for the volunteers who continue to come alongside and partner with brothers and sisters in need.

There are still opportunities to support the tornado relief efforts.


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