San Juan Members Share Christ's Love

February 07, 2017 | Brittni Bryan

Church members of the San Juan Islands in Washington's Puget Sound have been busy sharing the love of Christ with their communities through warm drinks, hot meals and helpful hammers.

During the holiday season, the Friday Harbor Church congregation took part in their community’s winter market. Church member Virlinda Foster, who organized the church’s booth, says she felt it was important to spread kindness to the community through providing free warm drinks as a means of meeting people where they are at and creating an opportunity to share God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus. Along with more than 500 cups of cocoa and cider, members handed out many Christmas-themed Signs of the Times magazines. The event organizers and attendees alike were thankful for the free warm treats and kind smiles shared.

Additionally, the Friday Harbor Church has been busy with their growing home-repair outreach ministry. Members saw a community need for skilled builders to help those who could not afford traditional contractors. They knew they could fill this through the talents of the church family. 

Members organized the ministry to receive referrals from the island’s Family Resource Center for low-income, elderly or disabled community members in need of minor home repairs. In January 2017, the church finished up their first major project: building a wheelchair ramp for a lady with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

On the day of the ramp’s completion, Dani Davis-Robeson was able to finally pull her wheelchair out of her van and drive it up the ramp into her home. She was so excited, she made several trips up and down the ramp with her service dog, Kaylee, by her side.

Dry eyes were scarce as the project was celebrated and blessed. Dani and her partner, Laura, said they were surprised to find people who cared so much. They shared they had looked up the Seventh-day Adventist denomination online and planned to come to a church service soon.

The Orcas Adventist Fellowship has also been spreading Christ’s love through good food. For more than 15 years, during January, February and March, the church has hosted a monthly free community dinner for anyone who needs a healthy, warm meal. January’s dinner kicked off 2017 with an Asian-themed meal provided to more than 300 island residents. Community and church members, young and old, shared conversations, good food and laughs as they built new friendships and deepened old ones.

The islands’ pastor, Don Bryan, says, “Meeting the tangible needs of people through common avenues such as good food or shelter is such a powerful way of coming alongside those we are seeking to reach, sharing the love of Christ through our actions. These interactions build the relationships that are crucial as we walk with people towards their Savior.”