Monday, January 03, 2022

So, How's Our "Little Church" Going?

Yesterday was our first Aksarben Village church service of the new year and it was a delight – a splendid example of how valuable an element of Vital Signs Ministries this has become since we started it last February.  

True, the congregation is smaller than at our highest point as the fears of the virus, the hassles of the protocols, the fact that members of the memory unit are not longer allowed to attend, etc. have all taken their toll.  There is also the reality that we’ve lost 2 of our congregation to more intensive nursing facilities and 2 to the welcome of heaven itself.

Still, we had 12 of our friends on hand for yesterday’s worship service (plus 4 of us from Vital Signs) and we had a wonderful time with an Epiphany-oriented sermon about the magi’s worship of the Messiah and 3 terrific music videos.  

That’s how we do church service here and both we and the Aksarben residents love it.  I search high and wide for inspirational music presentations from various formats, ages, and places around the world.  And, since we pass around handouts each week with the song lyrics, several of the residents join in the singing.

Yesterday’s selections?  “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” performed acapella by The Allen Family down in Branson; “Is He Worthy?” beautifully performed by a small youth choir from Charity Baptist Church in Inchon, South Korea; and “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” performed at a Great Hymns Concert in Cape Town, South Africa by Loyiso Bala, Neville D, and the late Ivan Siegelaar.

And, as always, our ½ hour service is then followed by a rich time of visiting as we pass around cookies, coffee, and lemonade.  The friendships formed through this combination of Word, worship and warm-hearted conversation have become of eternal significance and we are so, so grateful to God for leading us into this particular outreach.  

Of course, Claire and I maintain all the other aspects of Vital Signs Ministries, including the street witness at the abortion mill, “When Swing Was King, and all the rest.  Therefore, squeezing in the sermon prep, the song search, the baking of cookies, and everything else needed for the Aksarben Village church service, has made for some pretty intense weeks this past year.  But we are so pleased and encouraged by all that the Lord is doing there and so we can’t help but look forward to the next steps in this grand adventure.  Thank You, Lord.