Monday, July 30, 2012

5 days till back2school


The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it.

I sat mesmerized as I listened to a tall, thin man talk about the children he has been able to help.  Bill Barker of Appalachian Regional Ministries told us about the children who live in the valleys and hill country of the mountains not far from where we live.  For years he has led people to gather school supplies for these children who have great needs.

Much like the people of Samaritan’s Purse who do “Operation Christmas Child” these volunteers take shoe boxes and put all kinds of supplies to help make the school year get off to a great start.  The areas of Appalachia where these children live have been wrecked by the dying of coal mining along with our tough economy.

As I listened to the stories of the children, God pricked my heart, but it took a couple years for the seed planted to begin to grow.  And grow it has into what we now know as the back2school outreach project.  Since our project began 5 years ago almost 3,000 students have been served, but this year is going to kick that into a new and greater day.

picture by Kenny Webster
Almost 1,500 students are registered to take part in this year’s back2school event which is Saturday, and over the next 5 days I want to unwrap for you the various aspects of what happens during this event.  I’ll begin by asking you to pray.  Prayer is the foundation of all we do.

Pray for the students we will serve.  Not only will they receive several items that will make their school year get a good start, but they will be encouraged to put their hope in God.

Pray for the resources needed to serve these students.  For months we have been preparing for this event, yet over the next few days the final pieces will come together.  On Monday school supplies will be sorted and more will be purchased if needed, and the backpacks will be stuffed on Tuesday night.  Also on Tuesday the shoes will be picked up in Charlotte and then sorted on Wednesday to go to the three churches where the outreach will take place.

Pray for each volunteer.  Pray for our leaders who have been working hard to make this happen.  Pray for the teams of volunteers who will come together to train on Thursday night.  Without the 350 plus volunteers this event would be impossible.

Thank you for your help.  Your prayers are appreciated.  Your support encourages us in huge ways.  You can still help … pray, volunteer, give … gifts can be given online at this link … volunteer training is Thursday at 7pm at each location.

Great days are ahead of us this week.  Plus I can’t wait to share more with you tomorrow!

But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

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