Pastor Jonathan Grizzell of Hedgeville Baptist Church says there’s a benefit that comes from giving, and an even bigger benefit that comes from doing.
He’s getting the best of both worlds after his congregation decided to rally for a family and church that is struggling with flood recovery in the Blackey, Roxanne and Jeremiah areas of Letcher County, Kentucky. Those places became the target after a new church member told the pastor that they had family in that eastern part of the state.
“All three settlements are in bad shape and bad need of things,” Grizzell said.
After calling several churches in those areas with no answer, he finally got a hit when a pastor’s wife picked up the phone at Blackey Missionary Baptist. The pastor, whose name is Bruce, was exhausted from working so hard in the cleanup, his wife Rita told Grizzell. She was working in the church office as the secretary while also handing out supplies to struggling people in the area.
“People are in tears, broken and so appreciative of someone getting things to them. They pretty much need everything,” Grizzell said. “We were already in the works of getting stuff together.”
He’s taking a team from the church to the area with nearly $10,000 of supplies and gift cards. One member of the congregation gave $5,000, so they will be handing out $500 gift cards to those in need.
“One thing that benefits a congregation is to empower that congregation to get their hands dirty,” he said. “I’ve found that folks are very, very eager to get involved. Many of them are looking for that outlet. How can I help? They want to be part of it.”
Kentucky Baptist churches, along with Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief, have been rushing to flooded areas the past few weeks to provide hope to many who have lost everything. Grizzell says the blessing of serving also becomes a blessing to those doing the serving.
‘We need to be doers’
Grizzell said he’s not sure how the church stands doctrinally. “I don’t need to know all the details about them. We’re trying to reach people, trying to help people.
“We need to be doers, like Jesus said, and not hearers only. We’ve become anemic,” he said. “We don’t realize what our faith offers people.
“Something I said to the church and what drives me in ministry,” he noted, “‘They don’t care what you know until they know you care.’ That sanctification takes place in action.”
Grizzell said he had taken some mission trips to Haiti and witnessed what it means to interact and experience that “supernatural presence of the Lord. It changed my perspective on missions.”