One of our long-standing partners in seed planting, Blanket America Ministries, recently shared this story with us.
Ronnie Wyatt is the pastor of The Neighborhood Church, located in a very impoverished, high crime, drug-riddled area of Syracuse, New York.
Just before Easter, The Neighborhood Church put together “blessing bags” and distributed them in the community. Each bag contained a copy of The Easter Story.
Ronnie tells the story like this:
“We had an amazing day going out into our city to take blessing bags to our friends…. 200 bags filled with snacks, hygiene items and Church/Gospel info.
“We split up into three different groups so we could visit a number of places at the same time. This allowed us more time to not only give out a blessing bag but to talk with, pray with, and if needed cry with those that we desired to minister to. The truth is, the contents of the bags would be gone very quickly, but building a relationship with these precious people so that we could share the hope of Jesus will last forever!
“One group went to a very rundown housing project that houses those that were formerly homeless…. Another group had the phenomenal opportunity to go into four different shelters for women and families…. The third group went to areas where our homeless friends hang out. It was an awesome time of ministry to hug, laugh, and cry with our precious friends!
“One of the greatest things that took place was hearing ‘D’ share with those on the street. In almost every location, someone would see her and say, ‘Hey Girl! What are you doing? Where have you been?’ The last time they had seen her, she was either on the street passed out from her drug binge or selling herself for her next high. On this day, she was clean and sober and sharing what Jesus has done for her! She would reach in her pocket and pull out a marble and show it to them. She would share how, years ago, she received a blessing bag from The Neighborhood Church. In that bag was not only snacks but also that marble and a little note that read:
This simple marble has no beginning and no end. It is like the unending love of God. Put it in your pocket and when you feel all alone or are having a tough time, get the marble out and hold it. It will remind you that God loves you and is always with you.
“Years later after getting the blessing bag and that marble, D gave her life to Jesus. She is on fire for the Lord and has become an amazingly faithful servant at The Neighborhood Church. She and her 14-year-old daughter, who had not been in D’s life for years because of her mother’s drug issues, are both getting baptized on April 27th in our portable baptistry! And yes, she will have her marble in her pocket!” —Pastor Ronnie Wyatt
Blanket America Ministries bought 1,000 Easter Story booklets and provided the 200 copies that helped fill these blessing bags. They only paid about 36 cents per booklet to reach people that the world has written off but whom God wants so much to reach.
God’s Word to the Nations Mission Society is only able to offer such low prices due to the generosity of its donors. Please consider giving today to continue this important work!