Light in the Darkness

Disaster Relief in Madagascar

Disaster Relief in Madagascar

Since the year 2000, we have witnessed a multitude of record breaking disasters across the globe.  From killer tornadoes to life-shattering earthquakes, from massive tsunamis to mega-storm hurricanes, disasters are dark times of pain and loss.

Disaster Relief is neither simple, nor easy.  It can be complicated, messy, and difficult.  Disaster work can be frustrating and heart-breaking.  Through Disaster Relief ministry, the church has an opportunity to penetrate the darkness with the light of Jesus Christ.

Disaster Relief generates a platform for the Gospel to those who are inaccessible and unreached.  Disasters open doors to plant churches where they have not existed before, and to share the Good News with those who are resistant to Christ.

As followers of Jesus, Disaster Relief offers opportunities for us to:

  1. Engage unreached peoples.  Disasters create access to unreached people groups around the world.  In our backyard, tragic events also open doors to neighbors in our community that have previously been inaccessible.
  2. Enter doors.  People worldwide are more responsive to the Gospel in the security of their home.  This is particularly true in cultures where believers are persecuted.  Disasters have the ability to open doors previously closed.
  3. Care for the needy.  Offering a hand of help is simply the right thing to do when people are hurting.  Job was identified as a righteous man by his acts of compassion.  “Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.  The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing.  I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame, I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.”  (Job 29:11-16)
  4. Share the Gospel and plant churches.  We must be cautious not to manipulate or be overly aggressive in the midst of pain and loss.  Most people will appreciate genuine help, prayer, and caring concern.  Compassionate ministry creates receptiveness to our message of hope and salvation, and opens the way for new churches to be planted.
  5. Enable the local church.  The storms of life break down walls of resistance and create opportunities for the local church to offer help, healing, and hope to their neighbors.  Disasters produce occasions for the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus in practical ministry.

In the dark hours of disaster, people desperately search for the light of dawn.  God has called us, as the people of God, to be light in the darkness.

“And if you offer yourself to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in the darkness, and your night will be like noonday.”  (Isaiah 58:10)

Equipped for Service that Lowers Your Blood Pressure

heart in hands - blood pressureChristians are equipped for service that lowers their blood pressure.  Okay, so Ephesians 2 doesn’t say it quite like that.  It does say however, that we are equipped for works of service … and according to a new study, works of service will lower your blood pressure.

A new study suggests that engaging in volunteer ministry  can make you healthier by lowering blood pressure.  The study, by Rodlescia Sneed, is to be published in the journal, “Psychology and Aging”.   The study involved over 1,100 adults, who were interviewed about their volunteer service and had their blood pressure checked at the beginning of the study and again four years later.  All of the participants had normal blood pressure readings at the time of the first interview.

Regardless of the type of volunteer ministry or service the participants were involved in, those who said during the first interview that they regularly served in volunteer ministry or service were 40% less likely to have high blood pressure four years later than those who did not serve.

Christ followers have been equipped for ministry and we should use whatever gifts we’ve been given to serve others (1 Peter 4).   It’s easy to see that ministry and service to others is expected of the Christ follower.   We’re even promised in Proverbs 11, that when we refresh or bless others, we too, will be refreshed and blessed.

There are countless opportunities to engage in ministry service, locally, throughout Kentucky, nationwide and around the world.  Discover how God has equipped you and commit to utilizing those gifts, talents, skills and experiences for His glory.  Check out for a list of opportunities.  So, in summary, when we engage in ministry, we’re obedient to the Lord, receive a blessing and … lower our blood pressure too.


Haven of Rest Family Ministries

Haven of Rest PicThis week I had the privilege of visiting Haven of Rest Family Ministries near Inez, KY.  Rocking in an orange rocking chair on the porch of Mullins Lodge, high atop the mountain, with a light rain falling and gray skies overhead was such a restful, peaceful experience. In the stillness and quietness I felt so close to God.

I was there to meet with Missionaries and Directors Harold & Joyce Scroggs and other missionaries and volunteers who were considering serving at Haven of Rest. Work there is never ending as there is laundry to wash, rooms to clean, grass to cut, decks to stain, and the list could go on and on.

Haven of Rest Family Ministries, a non-profit, interdenominational Christian ministry, founded by now retired missionary Eileen Mullins, opened the first weekend of October 2004 as a hospitality house for families who come on weekends to visit their imprisoned loved ones at the Big Sandy Federal Correctional Institute, located just a few miles away.

The facility has 2 dorms, with individual rooms and a bath, where the families stay while there. Mullins Lodge has a large kitchen where the families can prepare their own meals, and a recreation area where they can relax, read, watch television, or play games. A Chapel is also located in the Lodge.

Haven of Rest hosts many families each week from all across the United States. Families are ministered to while there and the Love of Christ shared with them.

Haven of Rest also hosts mission teams that serve at Haven of Rest, as well as outreach into the community through VBS, Backyard Bible Clubs, nursing home ministry, and working it the Heavenly Treasures thrift store.

This is just one of many opportunities to serve in Kentucky. If you have an interest in learning more about this ministry or volunteering to serve a few days you can contact Harold & Joyce Scroggs at 606-298-0520 or [email protected]

Please pray for Harold and Joyce and the ministry as they share the Love of Christ with the inmates’ families and in the community.