Wow, What a year! 2020 is almost over. It’s been rough. Christmas events look so different this year. I’ve been so busy the last couple months gathering gifts and planning because I was determined to make sure the kids here received Christmas gifts despite Covid. I know this year has been very hard for many people and the effects will continue long term. My heart goes out to the families of the ones lost. However, we are still so blessed. God is still on the throne. He is still in control. He is still with us. When I looked at the faces of the little children receiving their presents, I kept thinking about how good God is. Their precious faces make me reflect on how good He is because the children themselves are gifts from Him. As of yesterday, we gave gifts to 91 children with the help of Jefferson First Baptist of SC, Little Sparrow Ministries of WV and other donors. Wow! God really is good.
This has been a tough year for everybody due to the pandemic. It put a stop on most traveling, church attendance, mission teams, school, team sports and many other biblical and secular happenings. My heart goes out to the ones who lost friends and family and the ones suffering spiritually and financially.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
Let me be honest, when this virus hit our county, I was fearful. I was so distracted by the media, news, and comments from everybody that I lost focus. I am serious, I run through a bunch of bottles of Lysol wipes and bleach. I even sprayed my husband down with Lysol before he could enter the house; Oh goodness! I was that crazy! Then, I began to read some of the “Fear not” verses in the Bible. Did you know there are 365 verses containing “Fear not” and “Do not fear”? One for each day of the year. Get your list from Believersportal.com.
Isaiah 41:10a – Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
Here is what I did! I started refocusing my attention on Jesus. I made time reading the Bible prayer a priority every day. Do it even when you don’t feel like it. Literally, that is all it took because I realized that God is still in control. I seem to forget that a lot. The world can be a scary place.
I think about all that Paul had to endure and how his perspective did not waiver.
Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
That is an amazing verse penned by the apostle Paul while in prison. That is an example for us to not lose it.
I see all the memes about 2020 and how bad it has been, but we are still here and should push forward. I know, some of them are funny!
I look forward to the coming year and will continue to pray we can bring help, healing, and hope.
The more I learn about McDowell County, the more compassion I feel for these families. I do realize other places face opposition but God has placed us here and my heart aches to bring them help, healing, and hope. I find myself daydreaming about rebuilding what was lost, an entire community of people living in unity, and striving to please God. But is this possible? They do come to hear the word. But James says to be doers of the word and not hearers only. Prayer will be our weapon to achieve this.
The information I’ve learned so far has helped me understand and connect more deeply with their pain, questions, and confusion.
In the 1950’s West Virginia had 125,00 miners. By 1970, machines moved in to replace these miners. I assume, they believed from a business point that this was more efficient but soon the number of operating mines spiraled downward. By the 1990s only 20,000 miners remained and today’s shocking number is 12,000.
(Above two images are from VirginiaTech.com)
Despite this history, McDowell County is still ticking along. I know many feel it will never be restored but I believe it is very possible with God. It will never be like it was but that doesn’t mean it can not be better.
When Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, the king said, ” May your God, whom you continually serve, deliver you!”
That was one of many things Daniel faced and God did deliver him.
This plant is right up the road from me. They load coal into train cars. It’s hard to get good pictures with the foliage. At night, it lights up like a Christmas tree.
God is going to do amazing things here so let’s watch him work!