“Lord, please help us”, I prayed. It was a Sunday afternoon in April 2014 that I got on my knees at the Stillwater church and prayed. This little friendly church of five attendees was in need of much work. The peeling wallpaper revealed mold, the forty plus year old carpet, and the sign outside had seen better days. As the new associate pastor (under Pastor Rob Lechner), I felt overwhelmed. It was a health issue for sure, but how could a small group of older people with little resources possibly fix all these issues?
That week I conducted two ongoing workshops on Bible Worker Training at The Edge and St. Paul First Church. On Tuesday, at the Edge church I spoke with Lester Bentley, the lay pastor and head elder who preached at Stillwater once a month and relayed my problem to him. He said, “Karen, if you had a work bee I would come!” “A Work Bee, that’s it!” I exclaimed. “I wonder if any of the other Bible Workers that I was training would also help.” That week I proceeded to tell them of the deplorable condition that little church was in and the help that was needed. I set a date for a work bee that next month on a Sunday and was amazed when twenty-eight people showed up!
They tore off old wallpaper, bleached out the old mold, then primed and painted the walls. They cleared out all the old clutter inside and out. They painted the old sign and railing, trimmed bushes and trees. It was truly a miracle seeing Bible Workers from six other churches helping out a sister church in need.
The ladies of Stillwater Church, who were overwhelmed with appreciation (and who are also great cooks), prepared a delicious meal laden with homemade casseroles, salads and desserts, and watched in glee as all enjoyed the meal and fellowship.
Two more Work Bees were later needed and some faithful folks still came out. Pam, one of the Bible Workers from the St. Paul First Church later told me that she had a hugely stressful week and had no intention of coming out to the Work Bee that Sunday. As she thought about it, a song came on the radio about ‘service to others’. She went to bed and the next morning on Friday she woke up, turned on the TV as she was getting ready for work. A Christian program came on also talking about doing ‘service for others’ and she felt God impressing her to come and help that Sunday. As she gave in to God, she said she felt a tremendous sense of peace come over her, and Sunday morning she woke up with much energy. God was at work all along!
Since those Work Bees this summer, brand new carpeting has been put in and on November 22, 2014, we hosted a special ‘Celebration Sabbath’ praising God for the new revitalization of our little church. Forty-five people came out to celebrate with us!
The Stillwater church has now grown to seventeen attendees as of December 2014, with a baptism scheduled. We praise God for His leading! I believe that God has a plan for every church and if we would just pray and ask Him to direct our steps, He will indeed take hold and answer our prayers in amazing ways! God’s work should always begin and end with prayer!
Pastor Karen Lewis
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