“You’re the ones?!” Bishop half asked, half accused us. Apparently he and my father had a rather long discussion about me (the girl) and the mission work I was involved with the year before.
“WHY didn’t you TELL me they were going to be here?!?” Bishop lamented. “They could have spoken to the church.”
After the service was underway he stops speaking, turns off his microphone, returns to our pew in the back and as all heads turn to get a better view whispers, “Are you prepared to speak?”
(Wow. I was totally taken off guard. Number one, what pastor gives up their pulpit on the spot like that? Number two, we weren’t that prepared.)
“Sure”, I whispered back.
(We’re supposed to “be prepared in and out of season” right?)
Next thing you know we are introduced to the church. We make our way to the front and begin our first official presentation to a church on home assignment. I was nervous but hoping I didn’t look it, however, everyone claimed they love the spontaneity of it all.
We were blessed beyond measure by the generosity of the church, the warmness of the people we met and the genuine interest in our lives that was expressed.
I had the privilege of visiting this sweet congregation, nestled in the mountains of Sky Valley, Georgia several years ago. On that visit they sent me away with prayers and one of their pew bears to pass on. This year was no exception. Upon leaving they made sure we BOTH had bears and assurances of many prayers!
SIDE NOTE: These bears are a loving ministry of the ladies in the church. They are dressed in little coats of all colors and sent out to those who might need a little cuddle and snuggle. Each bear comes with a tag that says:
“This bear sat in a pew at The Chapel of Sky Valley. It has been blessed as it has heard Scripture read, the Word preached, hymns sung and prayers prayed. It comes to you as a hopeful reminder of God’s healing, grace and love.”
Love Bears All Things… 1 Corinthians 13:7
If you ever happen to be near Sky Valley, Georgia. Check out this gem of a church whose people are showing the love of Christ to all those who walk through its doors. (Be sure to stay for the yummy goodies downstairs after the service!)