A few years ago the Gillreath family experienced a catastrophic housefire during the night. The Gillreaths were fortunate - no one was hurt, they had insurance and they had family members who could help them. However, their experience revealed a need for a new ministry to supplement the charities and church-based ministries that currently exist in our area.
Consider the story of Paul’s rescue by the people of Malta following a violent shipwreck, as recorded by Luke in Acts 28 of the New Testament:
When the 276 prisoners and sailors reached the shore the people of Malta were “unusually kind to us. They made a fire and welcomed all of us around it because of the rain and the cold.” The prisoners and sailors were invited by the island’s governor to spend three days at his home, where he “welcomed us and treated us kindly.” The author makes his final account of the Maltese people by writing that “they showed respect for us in many ways, and when we were going to set sail, they put whatever we needed on board.” (GWT)
When people are suddenly displaced from their home and lose their physical possessions, they have the same need as the sailors and prisoners who experienced the shipwreck – they need to be treated with respect and dignity, to be treated kindly, to be given supplies to meet their needs and to be welcomed in out of the rain and the cold.
No one is better equipped to meet those needs than followers of Christ who have been given the gifts of undeserved kindness, respectable treatment and physical blessings that can only come from God.
We called this ministry “Turning Point” because that is exactly the place in their life where we will reach them – at a point where their life changes suddenly and they are left wondering which way they should turn for help and answers. As Christians, we are in a unique position to provide both.
A catastrophic, life-changing event will often lead people to reflect on life and death, on their soul and the souls of their loved ones. Gratitude will often lead people to look further into the motivation of the ones who helped them. Unfortunately events like a housefire or tornado will sometimes be responsible for serious injuries or even the death of a loved one, which would necessitate counseling and cause them to look for spiritual guidance.
We believe that the kindness and undeserved mercy of God, as poured out through His Son to those of us who know Him, is exactly the thing these people need the most. Only God can heal their wounds, provide them the strength to move on and put their lives back together, and give them assurance that no matter what happens to us on this earth He has a plan for our lives while we’re here and after we’re gone. We are seeking to show God’s love by doing for others the very thing that He has done for us – to help them up at a moment when they can’t help themselves.
Each family that we help will be given a packet that includes an outreach-style easy-to-read New Testament, as well as informational literature about Jesus and about the Cross Point Church family. We will then work with other Cross Point ministries and staff to stay in touch, to check on their spiritual development and to offer Bible studies with the hope that they will seek out the Savior as they work to restore their lives.
Cross Point Church of Christ | 1350 Cox Creek Parkway, Florence AL 35633 | Phone 256.764.4073 | www.crosspointcoc.org