"As I worked on the Pumpkin Patch last month, I had many God sightings. What stood out the most, though, was seeing the love of God shining brightly in my volunteers. God’s love was evident in them as they sacrificed their free time in order to further the Kingdom. I had the privilege of working with people of all ages and from all walks of life. The volunteers, most of whom I was meeting for the first time, were eager to jump in and serve in any way they could. Their support helped ease a lot of the stress of a first-time Pumpkin Patch Coordinator.I enjoyed watching friendships form between workers as they spent hours side by side unloading or selling pumpkins in the patch. Old or young, no matter what our background is, the common thread of Christ in our lives can help us connect with others to form lasting relationships! I now look forward to cultivating the friendships I made over the last few months and getting to know more of my fellow servants. I’m so thankful that God provides for our needs, and I’m thankful for the people in our church family who were able to share their gifts to make this event such a success!"
Andrea WhitakerPumpkin Patch Coordinator
This past month our middle school students participated in a fall retreat to The Vineyard in Ariton, Alabama. During that trip they were able to get away and learn about how God values and loves us. This gave the students the opportunity to grow in their relationship with Him.
While at the Vineyard, Holly Rice, our Youth Intern, got to witness God working in the student’s lives. She reflects on how she saw God move throughout the weekend: “Having the students fast from being on their cellular devices for the weekend gave them, and me personally, the opportunity to disconnect from the world and live in the now. Every morning we would wake up and we would find a spot to be alone and do a devotional before breakfast. Being out in nature and spending time with God just one on one was a great experience.”
17 students participated in the retreat and 9 recommitted their lives to Christ. Praise God!
On Sunday, October 15th we had our Baptism Sunday. During our services we baptized 8 people and had 9 professions of faith. We are overflowing with joy for those who gave their lives to Christ. God is so good.
Thank you so much for your generous offerings towards Hurricane Relief. Our communion offerings totaled $10,319.35 and was given to the United Methodist Committee on Relief to go directly to relief efforts in the US, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. For more information on how our offerings are being used, please visit http://www.umcor.org/
At our AWANA Bash, the children made 850 Rocks. 850 Rocks is a new trend going on in Panama City. People decorate rocks and hide them around the city for other people to find. The children at the AWANA bash decorated their rocks with drawings of crosses and hearts. Many of them wrote encouraging messages such as, “God loves you!” After they decorated them, they prayed over the rocks and prayed for the people that might find them. Our church website was written on them so that people would be encouraged to let us know if they found one. We received an email from someone visiting Panama City from Mississippi who found one of our rocks. She wrote, “Hi! Just wanted to send a quick note to thank you all for placing the rocks around Panama City Beach! My daughter found one this past Saturday at the Edgewater Beach Resort while we were there for the 9/11 PCB Memorial Stair Climb. She was so excited to find your rock! Such an exciting and neat idea to place the rocks for visitors to find! We hope to find another one next time we visit next year for the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb!”
It is awesome to see that God can use something as small as a rock to brighten someone’s day!
On Sunday, September 3rd we took up an offering at communion during our church services to be given to the United Methodist Committee on Relief to be used for Texas flood relief. We raised $7.051.35 for the flood victims! Praise the Lord!
"How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings." Psalm 36:7 Last night, August 30th, we had our annual AWANA Family Kick-Off. It was a beautiful example of the body of Christ coming together for the kingdom of God. We had our UMM men cook us dinner, parents and leaders watching children fellowship outside on the playground and on the bounce houses, and we ended the night with 14 baptisms! 12 children and 2 adultsâ€‹â€‹ were baptized with their friends and families rejoicing with them! We are so thankful for our Children's Ministry and the work they do to show the love of Christ to our children and their families!
“And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:5 NIV On Sunday, August 6th, we hosted a Back-to-School Bash for the children at Southport Elementary School. We gave out free school supplies for each grade, had free haircuts and provided games and bouncy houses outside for the children to enjoy. It was evident that God was using our servants, Southport teachers and the children in big ways! Here’s a message from their principal. “It was an overall feeling that God was present watching over us. Children were happy and smiling. For many students, this is a day that will live in their lives as a great memory as a big event over the summer. Just the simple things that many of us take for granted... a haircut. Those smiling faces were priceless. God truly blesses our school and we have so much to be thankful for.”
Southport Elementary Principal
On Sunday, August 6th, from 2:00pm-4:00pm we hosted a Back to School Bash for the children at Southport Elementary School. We gave out free school supplies for each grade, had free haircuts for the children and provided games outside for the them to enjoy.
When I think about Uganda and the churches we build there, I’m reminded of the loaves and fishes that Christ multiplied to feed thousands of people. In most cases we never get to see the results of what we build around the world. However, in Uganda we have seen the complete story and transformation. We’ve seen where a small group of people gather in a stick building or simply under a large tree to worship. These buildings offer no protection from the elements; rain comes through, termites destroy and it becomes run down.
At the same time, God’s touching the hearts of people at LHUMC. They see the need and respond. Through sacrificial giving the funds are raised, a team is formed, and soon we’re on our way to build a church.
What was once a gathering place for a few quickly becomes filled with 100 or more people worshipping God. Many will hear the gospel and give their lives to Christ. The gospel spreads to the surrounding areas. The building also serves as a school, educating village children as well as teaching them the gospel.
The impact will not stop at the village level; it will be felt in the local area and throughout the country as these young people mature and take their place in society.
As a result of your faithful giving and prayerful support together we are truly changing the world one church at a time. May God continue to bless LHUMC’s efforts to serve Him in Uganda. Together we can and will make a difference.