Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Our Benevolence Ministry

by Gwen Barringer


Our Benevolence Ministry at church helps families in all kinds of crisis with financial support.  We’ve been known to help keep a family’s utilities from being shut off, supply food cards or gas cards, finance car repairs, or help with the cost of day care.  Our team has worked with other churches and North Raleigh Ministries to support the less fortunate folks in our area. 

Our church’s Benevolence Ministry works with the support of our pastoral staff by serving our church family as needs arise.  Financial assistance has been given towards medical bills and counseling.  We even offer budget counseling for families who are finding it hard to make ends meet. 

Here is just one story about how a family was helped through our Benevolence Ministry:
Section 8 housing assistance is offered by HUD through local housing authorities, and this assistance can mean the difference between a family living from shelter to shelter and actually having a home.  After waiting six long years on the Raleigh Housing Authority’s list, Susan (not her real name) finally heard she was to get housing assistance of 100% for her daughter and her.  All she was required to do before she claimed her new home was put down the required security deposit.  Susan had just lost her full time job and was working part time, but could only scrape together a bit more than half of her deposit.  She was frantic at the thought of losing this aid.  She reached out to our church for help through our Benevolence Ministry.  We pledged the remainder of her deposit, prayed with her, and discussed other agencies that could help her getting settled in her new home. 
  
I can tell you that helping, praying with, and walking alongside folks in times of great stress or crisis has been a privilege for me, because I receive far more from these people than our church could ever give them.  It is such an honor to serve in this ministry.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

2 comments :

  1. Last year we had friends from school who's dad was injured on a new job & wasn't covered under health insurance yet & the injury didn't qualify for workman's comp. After being unemployed for several months, they were struggling financially. His injury required surgery & several weeks of recuperation. We wanted to help them & found that there was little, tangible help we could offer. But we asked about the benevolence fund & they were able to help them. My friend told me later that of all the places, churches she's contacted for help, Apostles was the only one to offer to pray with her also. That prayer meant as much as the financial help Apostles offered her. Now, that family is doing much better, is more stable, and are well. What a privilege it was to be a connector for that family & God's blessings!

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    1. You know, it's through outreach like Benevolence and other ministries at Apostles that we really experience the love of Christ. -Gwen

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