Dear Parish Family,
I hope and pray that you are well, and staying healthy.
I have been praying for a number of you and trying to stay in touch with as many as I know may have needs or are isolated (though, many of us are "isolated" right now!). If you have a need or would like to talk with me, please call my cell (843) 290-7553. We have had a few from our Parish Family who have been in the hospital; but as much as I would love to visit, during this time, only "end of life" situations allow me that privilege. On Good Friday, last week, I prayed for everyone in our church directory, by name. It has been a gift to have extra time to pray; but, I would love to see all of you as well!
In the past few weeks, with my "E-Blasts," as well as with my Midweek Messages, I have encouraged you to be in prayer, as well as try to make contact with those whom you love. It has been a blessing to see answered prayer in these difficult days of the Coronavirus, social distancing, and isolation. I have encouraged you to remain hopeful, careful, and to seek to live with wisdom during these challenging days. The Lord is with us, the Lord is for us, and though we may not be aware of all that He is doing, I am sure that He is! In Romans 8:28, Paul writes that "all things working together for good for those who love God, and are called according to His purpose." I have seen the Lord do wonderful things of which I would like to share one or two with you.
You may be aware that FISH Restaurant in Coligny has been serving meals to those who are in need of a meal. J.R. and Leslie Richardson are the owners (thank you!), and I know of two others who have worked to facilitate these meals (Lee and Michael, two friends) and have been able to bless hundreds if not thousands through this meal service. Michael made me aware of a single mother of two children who has been struggling, and who had needs and did not have the means to address those needs. He asked me if St. Luke's had a "benevolence fund" (which, when one asks, I will make use of my Rector's Discretionary Fund). I did not know this woman so I decided to pray for her and pray about what I might be able to provide. At the same time, a couple from our church, part-timers from Pennsylvania, called me. They felt led to give me a financial gift to help someone in need. It turned out that what they gave, I was able to give to Michael for this woman, and it was the exact amount that she had asked Michael for to provide and address her need at the time! I was in awe of God's grace and how He worked through so many people simultaneously!
One other that I would like to share with you. A woman from our parish who lives alone needed a ride from Hilton Head to MUSC in Charleston for surgery. A couple from our church, who had volunteered to help with people in need, came to mind as I prayed. I was able to put them in touch with one another. Though the surgery has not taken place yet, they have already taken one trip to Charleston and were asked to re-schedule as the hospital changed their policy that same day....all potential surgeries required a "Coronavirus test" of the patient. So, they turned around and came home, and her surgery is re-scheduled for this week should she have a clear Coronavirus test (which we were able to schedule the next day!). The couple and this woman have become fast friends, and the Lord is using this couple not only to address her needs, but to bring her friendship during a very lonely and needy time. God is good!!
I share these with you so that you can praise God with me; so that you can see Him moving, so that you may have hope and encouragement should you be struggling; and that, whether you are on the giving end or the receiving end, you can let your needs (or desire to help) be known, and He will respond! He is a loving and faithful God. We especially remember how faithful and caring He is during this season where we remember the cross and gift of His Son Jesus, assuring us that He is Lord over sin and death, that His love for us is amazing and gracious, and that He rose again to show His power to work in us, with us, and through us!
My love and prayers are with you!