Pasco Church Shares God’s Love During Challenging Times
We live in unusual times, where a global pandemic is causing fear, illness, death and isolation. As Christians, we are seeking to stay healthy, while being lights to the world. We want to bring light and hope to others. What are some ways to share Jesus during quarantine?
The Riverview Seventh-day Adventist Church in Pasco, Washington, continues to be a light to the community despite having to modify some of the ministries carried on by the church. We would like to share some of these opportunities for witnessing with our fellow believers living in other cities and towns.
Stan and Connie Arlt run the Adventist Community Services center adjacent to the Riverview Church, which provides food to hungry families. They distribute food boxes each Wednesday morning to roughly 400 families in Pasco. This important service to the community is the second-largest food pantry in Franklin County and serves all residents of the county. When the pandemic hit the Tri-Cities area, they put in place social distancing protocols, including wearing masks and moving the food bank outdoors.
The Arlts had a staff of dedicated volunteers who assisted in this ministry. Volunteers came on Tuesday mornings to unload trucks of food from nearby stores and organize these into food boxes, making sure each family had staples like rice, beans, bread, canned food, and fresh fruits and vegetables. More volunteers arrived on Wednesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to assist in distributing the food boxes to needy families. Students from Tri-City Adventist School took turns helping as well.
The pandemic has affected this ministry. With many members sheltering in place, other members of the community have stepped up to help. In addition, the National Guard has been helping unload trucks and carry food. God has provided each week what is needed.
Praise God, the National Guard’s term of service has been extended to the end of December. They will continue to be able to assist the Pasco Riverview Seventh-day Adventist Church Community Services as they help needy families in the community. This is a direct answer to many prayers! They know God will provide for the needs of the community, and they will stay open to His leading.
Betty Cummings, a Riverview Church member and retired nurse for the county, has found a creative way to share Jesus with her neighbors in this difficult time. She made a number of cloth masks and put each one in a Ziploc bag with a note: “Hi neighbor! Here is a small gift from me to you, to let you know you’re in my thoughts. You can disinfect the mask by washing it with regular laundry or by ironing it. Please do not microwave the mask, as it can be a fire hazard. If it is the wrong size or you do not need one, please feel free to pass it on to someone who can use it. We are in this together — I care about you! 1 Thessalonians 1:2. We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.”
She delivered these Ziploc bags to her neighbors. Her efforts were well-received. She’s building goodwill.
But it did not stop there. Cummings put some masks in her car and drove to the downtown Pasco area, where she began offering masks to homeless people.
“Would you like a mask to help protect you from COVID?” she asked. Many took her up on her offer.
These are only two of the ministries of the Riverview Church during the quarantine. Diane Berry, one of the GLOW (Giving Light to Our World) team members, dropped off greeting cards (with GLOW tracts inside) to the Tri-Cities Retirement Inn, to cheer lonely elderly people there. The staff will distribute these to the residents as they see fit.
Other members are bringing cheer to fellow church members with phone calls, cards and “drive-by” greetings, uplifting each other through illness, deaths of church members and recent graduations. The church also continues the adult Sabbath School class online using Zoom. The church service is livestreamed at 10:45 a.m. Pacific Time on Saturday mornings at www.pascosda.com. Just click on the “Livestream” tab to join our online service.
The Lord is providing service opportunities each day. Please pray for our ministries, and pray for the Lord to show you ways you can share Jesus to uplift others during this crazy time. God bless you in your efforts to minister to your community.