Unstoppable is the word that comes to mind when you look at the early days of the church. Conflict and controversy threatened to take down the young group but, instead of destroying it, the challenges fueled the fire that spread across the first-century landscape.
And now, in these challenging times, we are reminded of our mission through the following stories from Lake Union department leaders what being the Church is really about — God’s people doing God’s work together by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Adventist Community Health Initiative (ACHI) in the Lake Union has been a tremendous blessing for many in need of health-related services these past five years. The vision of health evangelism within our Union is growing and has given numerous churches in their own communities the opportunity to meet their neighbors that they may not have had otherwise. Not only have hundreds of people been served, but our lay members have been able to create connections and contacts in their own communities that will break down prejudices with them in future evangelistic efforts.
These past several months have been a challenge for most everyone, to say the least. Having had a clinic schedule at full capacity, we were forced to cancel all clinics from mid-March through the remainder of the year as restrictions were put into place. To promote current health information during this crisis, I participated, along with the Communication Department, in two of the ten-part series of “Coronavirus and the Church,” a series that the Public Affairs Religious Liberty and Communications departments facilitated. These two segments included a panel of experts addressing the spread, treatment and Biblical as well as scientific ways to avoid getting the virus along with numerous physical, mental and emotional consequences in social settings of the pandemic. The panel included physicians, dentists and psychologists, all of which shared information and then answered questions for lay members.
New and revised protocols in the workplace have become essential if not a requirement in most work environments. No locales have been immune to the virus, and the Lake Union has committed to keeping our employees safe. I helped in the study and research that led us to create and implement COVID-safe guidelines for the office. If you are to visit us, you will see that these protocols are being used accordingly. Amidst these uncertain times, we will continue to strive to keep all those who enter our doors safe.
We could look back on this past year as a painful journey, but we continue to trust in God’s timing and plans. Clinics that had been scheduled had a lot of work and planning already in place. And then, there were those that responded to the advertising and were hoping to receive dental and eye care. I came in contact with a lady in the spring within our community in Cicero, Ind., that desperately needed new glasses. She was able to get her prescription to me, select from the assortment of frames in our supply, then I was able to send them out to the eye doctor that fabricates the glasses for ACHI. She had been concerned about not seeing clearly but couldn’t afford the cost at her eye doctor’s office. She was thrilled to know that she could obtain a new pair of glasses.
These are God-given opportunities. Even though our clinics are still on pause, we all must stay aware of those around us. God’s kingdom will be won one heart at a time.
Randy Griffin, Lake Union Health director