By Andre Hastick, Assistant to the President for Communication, Chesapeake Conference It’s January 2021, and…
By Sean Robinson, Director of Development and Planned Giving and Trust Services for the Chesapeake Conference
The series of recent events gripping our country have created uncertainty and fear. Earlier in the year, even though the coronavirus pandemic temporarily closed the physical buildings of Chesapeake schools and churches, our ministry did not stop. There is no doubt our ministry looked significantly different. Education, church ministry and gospel evangelism went online and most importantly, we were reminded that ministry is always about people and their relationship with God – never the building.
In-person ministry in Chesapeake became reserved for the 52,000 meals given to more than 5,000 hungry families. Food was given to vulnerable people at the numerous church food pantries operated by Adventist Community Services (ACS) teams. Many church parking lots also became distribution centers for food and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies. Donations provided 700,000 PPE supplies to more than 800 organizations, including hospitals, childcare centers, homeless shelters, and other critical places. Collection Centers were also created for the local community utilizing church buildings.
In this coronavirus-initiated transition, more than 950 students were taught by 85 teachers, in 74 digital classrooms. Worship services rapidly became online services, and it was all made possible by pastors and small groups of volunteers who started this new digital ministry. Zoom became both a noun and a verb. Thousands of people worshiped God and became part of a digital church movement.
Pastor David Klinedinst and his evangelism team reported that an unprecedented 1420 people registered for the online evangelistic series, Forecasting Hope, yearning to hear a hopeful gospel message. We can praise God that after the four-week digital meetings, 56 people continued in their study of the Bible. There were 226 requests for books forwarded to pastors for local visits. Numerous comments shared personal stories of how God was leading the person and thanked the team for their ministry. We invite you to continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire each person to make a decision for Jesus Christ.
This Camp Meeting, our report includes a thank you. Your generosity during the pandemic has been no different than before. As God has blessed you with your income, you have continued to return your tithes and offerings. These simple acts are a demonstration of our faith in our Generous God. Giving to the Chesapeake Advance Plan (CAP) and local church ministries have further enabled our churches and conference to share a Gospel message of hope. People are being transformed through our conference and local church ministries. Thank you for continuing to be generous with your financial giving.
Where do we go from here?
While none of us can predict the next jolt our society will face, Bible prophecy provides us with the picture of a world that will become more desperate and chaotic. As we get closer to the Second Coming, the devil gains a greater foothold. In this world, we can expect to see more conflict, pain and suffering.
Sharing the Gospel through personal ministry is more important than ever. Hearts are aching across our world, resulting from the devastation caused by a slew of crisis events. In response to our sinful condition Jesus Christ invites every man, woman, and child to seek peace and rest in Him;
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Each CAP ministry is helping people make eternal choices. Our Youth and Young Adult leaders are spending the summer working with the questioning minds of our children and young people. The economic impact of the past few months is yet to be fully felt. We don’t know how many students will be unable to attend school because of unemployment in the family. Schools are reviewing their opening protocols to determine how best to educate young minds starting in August 2020. David Klinedinst‘s team is planning additional evangelism and church planting activities. The Sussex Central and Baltimore Korean churches are actively looking for new places to worship. Highland View Academy (HVA) and our Mt. Aetna Camp and Retreat Center will bring opportunities for young people to learn academically and in nature when they reopen.
Jesus Christ is the Messiah who has promised to return to this world. As last day events across our society continue to come to a close, we are more mindful of the importance of sharing the Gospel message with broken people. This Camp Meeting we thank you for joining with us, whether as a financial gift to CAP or your time through one of our ministries.
Please follow the link, if you would like to make an online financial gift to CAP. Alternatively, you can give through your local church, or mail in a check to the Chesapeake Conference office marked “CAP”. Please check out further CAP designations.