Before eating, easily over 50 people (adults, kids, and teens) stood and heard a short message on John 14.
- “Let not your hearts be troubled . . .” “How many here are facing way too many troubles?” Hands go up; heads nod. “Jesus is here to be with you.”
- Jesus is preparing a place for us. “. . . a condo in heaven is better than any mansion here on earth!” Amen’s abounded. “We need to know God’s security.”
- Jesus said he is “the way, the truth, and the life.” “. . . don’t we wish people would just tell us the truth?” Hands go up! “But we have to admit, we all need to work on telling the truth, yes?” Plenty of humble Amens and reluctant head nods. “. . . we all want 'life,' but try everything else but Jesus to fill that need for life.” Many agreed. “And we’ve tried every 'way' but God’s way—it’s time to do things God’s way.” Sighs. Lots of O yeas).
By the end of the evening had we served well over 80 people. But I will not forget the initial crowd that had gathered to hear the word on this last In His Midst Park BBQ evening. We thanked the good people, grateful they allowed us into their park. And, thankful we could serve them this summer. I offered a final summer prayer and asked God to be with them this Fall and school year.
And, then they ate.
I taught them a shout out prayer. I asked them all to think of that ONE subject they need God to help them with this year: one, two, three . . . “SCIENCE!” (Definitely #1 this year.) “Math!” “Writing!” “Reading!” And I am sure there were a few others mixed in there as well. It was quite the moment. God heard them. Then they got the bags. Everyone seemed happy.
Thanks to all who prayed for this summer’s BBQ park ministry. I am so grateful to all our CPC in The Hill family who pitched in and made this happen. So appreciate our wider Hill family that also added to our strength through helping and serving. A shout out to all the kids (and yes, I mean, kids) who were there almost every time to help us unload and carry the stuff from the cars and truck.
One neighbor called me over to say thank you for what our church does here in the park. He then said, “You are a different kind of pastor, aren’t you?” I smiled and said, "I think I am exactly who I am and I am so glad I’m here with you." He said, “I will have to check out your church to see what kind of preacher you are.” God make it so.
And may God add to all the blessings we witnessed this summer in the park.
A special thanks to our anchor church, Christ Presbyterian Church (New Haven), for making the summer BBQ ministry possible. As we move forward, CPC in The Hill will slowly become more responsible for the funds for its ministries like our BBQ park summer hot dogs and hamburger ministry, It costs approximately $3,000 to maintain this outreach and ministry of love--perhaps some of you might help make it possible. Feel free to donate through our church planting collaborative, Mission Anabaino, website (pull down the "Donation Applied" and click Hill Church Plant - Chip Anderson). Thanks in advance! Donate >>