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The Gospel is Bigger than a Virus

Amidst a worldwide pandemic the Gospel continues to grow. This week, our Chimes editor Shirley Johnson, has compiled for us some information on 3 of our local mission partners.

Rockland Community Church has a long history of mission work for those who are in need. Through the years our church has picked up the gauntlet and made a difference in people's lives. Think back to 2002 when we helped establish an orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia or what about the assistance with medical facilities and all the ailing children in Tanzania or the scholarship program for young people in Romania. We have seen a need and endeavored to help with a solution. 
 
Today we are faced with a dilemma that most of us could never have imagined - a pandemic! While trying to save lives, our cities and towns across America (and the world) have shut down a significant portion of our present-day civilization. We at Rockland are all too aware of this as the doors to our church are shut, many of our people losing jobs or being furloughed for an indefinite time. We are feeling this total upheaval of our lives but even with the personal impact on us we have not forgotten those who are certainly in dire straits and needing help NOW. 
 
Rockland supports a number of missions, three of them recently letting us know what is being done to help our local people. We are significantly involved with Loaves & Fishes and Clear Creek Rock House in Idaho Springs, and Mean Street Ministry in Lakewood. 
 
Clear Creek Rock House has 30 families of the mentors, kids they tutor and minister to in a Bible study. Most of the families have four mouths to feed and most live in hotel rooms, cars or places without the ability to heat food. Almost 100% of the breadwinners have been laid off and without a pay check. Rock House has a plan to feed these families for eight weeks by preparing, delivering and including cards with an encouraging message and Bible verse that reminds them that God is on their side when facing this hardship. The board and staff continue with their work as well as preparing food. They plan on cooking and delivering 720 hot meals during this crisis. Rock House is so thankful for the support from Rockland. Rock House is working closely with Loaves & Fishes to deliver food boxes to those families without cars.
 
Loaves & Fishes is using their parking lot like a "drive through" food pickup and giving away between 100 and 135 boxes of food (weighing between 40 - 50 pounds) each week. They have been blessed with many young volunteers helping sort and put together those food boxes. They are also supplying food to the people living in motels. Rock House is helping them with delivery of 15 boxes to the senior center for shut-ins and a few boxes are delivered to the house of those without a car. The most exciting insight to this crisis is how many people want to volunteer and how appreciative all the clients are that L&F is open to them And from those at L&F, many thanks to Rockland for all the support, it has really made their job much easier. 
 
Mean Street Ministry looked for the best way to proceed in this devastating situation. It became clear after much thought and prayer that the homeless population has been hit very hard by this crisis, not in terms of illness but in terms of necessities like food, shelter and a kind word. While Shelter-at-home orders go out around the state, obviously the homeless have no home to shelter in. They cannot cook at home or stay away from others or even eat at a fast food drive through restaurant as "walk-ups" are not served. They cannot even go into a place of business to use a bathroom. The homeless have had their basic resources cut off completely. For this reason, Mean Street has been declared as ‘essential’ and continues to serve this very needy population. Their days and hours are basically the same although they did drop from three days per week for the food bank to two as they have been inundated with new clients and their food supplies are running low. They still serve hot meals in their cafe each day, Monday through Thursday and their food bank is open Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are currently serving approximately 200 hot meals per week and approximately 90 people shop in the food bank per week. Rockland is among those who are serving the needs of Mean Street clients who thank them daily for being open to serve them. Many have thanking with tears in their eyes. 
 

Thanks to those reporting to us all the concerted activities to help those most in need: Pam Russell, Karen Rutherford, James Fry, Jack Wolfe, Todd Graber and Diane Chapman.
 

A big Rockland 'thanks' to Shirley and all those who contributed!
"See" you Sunday! (And/or during the week on YouTube.)

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