Posted: 7/19/20 at 2:00pm. Written by Wesley Garrett.
One of the things we’d noticed around our church and in the community was the constant appearance of children without masks covering their faces. During this pandemic, our hearts went out to them. We spent weeks in prayer on how we could reach them in these difficult times.
We recognized that the issue was possibly due to unavailability of masks in smaller sizes, so we took on this challenge as the loving way God was speaking to us. God led the heart of the pastor and then the congregation of Friendship Memorial Baptist Church to offer the community in North Chesterfield child-size masks free of charge. Also we wanted to help families who may not have the necessary supplies to keep their homes clean. We made available bathroom tissues, hand sanitizer, and soap for families who could not afford these hard-to-find items.
The pastor and eight volunteers/members spent the morning preparing for this ministry. We first prayed for the families coming to get the masks, and we prayed that this was not an effort to build the attendance of our small congregation. We clearly wanted to reach children and families for the sake of God’s glory.
On the day of distribution, in no more than 10 minutes of waving our signs of “free children’s masks,” we had drivers of vehicles waving and blowing their horns and giving us the “thumbs up” sign–expressing to us that they agreed with our ministry endeavor. Soon we had a few vehicles turn into our church’s driveway to get the children’s masks. Soon, vehicle after vehicle were stopping for the masks. We had 150 cloth masks, and they were made extra small and medium for young faces. We also had 100 paper masks, available to the adults, if needed. We placed each mask in a Ziploc bag (to cut down on the handling of the masks). Inside with the mask, we placed information about our church and a gospel tract.
On that day we distributed, in the name of Jesus, 42 children’s cloth masks and 10 adult masks.
One of many special moments came when a lady from the community stopped by our ministry tent, and she expressed that she was a believer and was proud of what we were doing. She then donated money to help us purchase more masks.
Another special moment came when a vehicle stopped with both husband and wife aboard. They stopped and informed us of their new medical residential center in the community. She then asked if she could get 10 masks for each child in treatment. After we gave her the masks, she also donated to the ministry.
Because we have several masks left to give out, we plan to take a weekend each month this summer or until this pandemic is over, to offer the community these cloth masks for the children until all have been distributed.
After we posted pictures for friends and family, several others volunteered to purchase more masks for our ministry. Most of the volunteers commented on the joy they felt during this ministry and expressed that they felt the blessing of doing God’s will. I think this ministry did a lot for this church, and we are thankful to the BGAV for funding us for this ministry with a COVID-19 grant.