This is another 2-part Top Ten! In the first part I’ll share some “announcements” and then in the second part some more testimonies I’ve received. If you have a testimony you’d like to share, send it to me! Thanks!
- Blood Drives Continue! – We continue to support the American Red Cross efforts to collect much needed blood. The next blood drive will be Thursday May 7 from 2 to 6pm at the South Campus (350 Bank St.). Appointments are a must and can be scheduled through the Red Cross at redcrossblood.org. Thanks for helping save lives!
- Food Drives Continue As Well! – We’re also continuing to collect food for the Salvation Army Food Pantry, which has seen a greatly increased amount of traffic since all this began. You can drop food off at the North Campus (8160 Bank St. Rd.) on Mondays from 10-4pm. Volunteers will get the food from your trunk or back seat so you won’t have to get out of the car. Thanks for helping feed local people who are struggling because they’ve lost their job or hit financial hardship.
- Art Supplies For Migrant Children – Arbor House (our service that meets at the South Campus – 350 Bank St.) is collecting art supplies for the children of migrant workers in our area. This is a need that was brought to the attention of the Arbor House staff and has come about as a result of the schools being closed and schooling being done at home. If you want to help you can drop off art supplies at the parsonage next to the church – just drop them at the front door and we’ll see that they get distributed to those who can use them.
- Calling Team – Our Northgate Calling Team is working its way through our large database of people who have been/are part of Northgate Church. This is just a way for us to touch base with people to find out how they are and how we can pray for them or meet a need they may have. If you’d like to help with this we have a few spots available and you can contact Pastor Marsha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Need Prayer? – If you have a prayer request that you’d like to pass on to the Northgate pastoral staff or the Northgate community, but don’t remember how to do that, here’s an easy and memorable solution. Use our new email address designed for exactly that purpose. Send prayer requests to email@example.com. Of course you can use all the other methods you’ve used in the past as well – they’ll still work. The main thing is, let us know how we can pray for you! Thanks!
- Food Link – The Food Link food distribution will happen again this coming Wednesday, May 6. Volunteers are always needed – please come to the North Campus of Northgate (8160 Bank St. Rd.) by 8am if you want to volunteer. Distribution does not begin until 9am.
- Re-opening Survey – No, we don’t have a date for re-opening yet, but we do want to be ready to go when that day comes. To help us get prepared we’d like to have our Northgate attenders complete a survey which will assist us in making our plans and being ready. We’ll be sending this out by various means (I’ll be sending it out via the Top Ten in a day or so); if you get more than one email about it, please understand we’re trying to reach as many as possible and there will be some overlap. Please only complete it one time. Also, it’s not “anonymous” but it is “confidential” meaning only the Management Team will see your responses. Thank you for helping us be our best church!
- From Jaylene – Just to share a few things with you that I see God working in this time of high anxiety and uncertainty:
The collaboration of everyone. Families in need of food, appliances, whatever it is, the need is being met while still taking the necessary safety measures. This also can be seen in neighborhoods and families. Calls, texts, sidewalk chalk messages of encouragement. Little gifts left at doors to brighten each other’s days or provide a needed grocery item or more.
The Batavia City School System with its videos showcasing its seniors and delivering lawn signs to their seniors and senior supporters. I know other schools are doing this too.
God is given the creativity and talent to think through these uncharted territories to still keep that connection with one and another. The virtual school lessons being provided for the students and the food being provided for the children. Just a huge outpouring of a giving spirit.
There are innovative birthday parades to celebrate too – again people coming together for the cause and just to show their love for each other. There’s a motivation to do more than what we “normally” do, not sure what “normal” means anymore. But the giving spirit is being seen and felt.
God also has given us the time to be still and be in his word more and pray for strength through this time that we know will pass.
- From Ephaste – (Ephaste is our International Child Care Ministries Coordinator for Gahanda, Rwanda where Northgate has a significant missions presence through ICCM. This is what he shared with us this week.)
Today was a blessed day in two different ways:
- My nearest POLICE allowed me to drive to my office to transfer salaries to our employees and I made it. At the same time, I paid for food we will supply to 5 schools including Gahanda.
- On my way from the bank two officers who were controlling the cars movement arrested me in Kigali, not far from my office. I stood there for an hour. After that they obliged me together with more than 30 other cars to follow their car to one of Kigali’s stadiums inside the college. We were detained for no less than an hour. I took courage and asked why they detained me while I was authorized by my home village police. Their commander humbly told me to be patient with what happened.
That was all about my day my Friend . My kids and wife are now happy that I am back. I was ready to be jailed for 2 days BUT God is Good ALL THE TIME. HALLELUA!”
- From “The Staff” – We just want to tell you what an incredible blessing it is to us when we read the notes and cards that you send to us. We receive some when you send your tithes and offerings and others come in the mail or by way of email. We’ve always known that the Northgate congregation is special and we wanted you to know that we appreciate you and are encouraged by and grateful for every one of you. We pray for our church all the time and we know God is not just “getting us through this” but actually blessing us through this. As Ephaste said, “God is good – all the time!
You Can Count on This – John 6:68 – Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Read John 6:60-71)
I was 17 years old when I began to sense deep in my heart that this was true: that Jesus had the words of eternal life. At the time I was miserable, profoundly insecure, losing hope and drifting through life. I didn’t like who I was or the things I’d done. And I didn’t know what to do. But God directed me to get a copy of The Way, and reading it initiated changes in me that are still underway. I came to believe that Jesus really did have the words of eternal life and I embraced the words, and I embraced Jesus. He may have literally saved my life. I know that he has definitely given me life. Have you discovered his love for you? If not, look to the Bible and read God’s word and get acquainted with Jesus. He has the words of eternal life.
When you’re not sure what you can count on in the world around you, know this: You can count on God keeping his word. So read what God has to say in scripture! And count on it.