Good Samaritan Ministries’ annual Back to School Picnic at the TVA Credit Union Ballpark was a blast! After months of preparation and eager anticipation, we were able to witness the beauty of God’s kingdom at work through the gift of community. Because of people like you, we had 165 volunteers at the picnic which composed of 38 churches, businesses and individuals.
It turned out to be a great atmosphere as we were able to have a festival theme with a hotdog meal, snow cones, a popcorn machine, a bounce house, free haircuts, a game of kickball on the mound and more.
We were able to serve the needs of 521 children, giving them a box with clothes, shoes and a backpack with schools supplies. As the children ate and played, we prayed that the love of Christ would permeate into their lives, their families and the community around them.
Aaron T. Murphy
As I sit in my office I hear our phone lines ringing and the chatter of those in our downstairs lobby. I hear a little girl talking to her mother saying - “Mommy…I am so hungry…I don’t want to sit in the dark anymore…do you think they can help us with food and lights?” I also hear another woman who is weeping saying - “My husband left me with my children for another woman and we have no place to go…” While I am opening my laptop, I notice that tears are rolling down my cheeks. If I could collect the tears shed here at Good Sam., would we have enough buckets in the world to hold them? We see that the weather is starting to drop in temperature and the leaves turning colors, we know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are approaching us soon. We also know the need in our region never ceases to end and seems to increase. Jesus said that the poor will always be among you. (Mark 14:7) Here at Good Sam., we find that statement to be very true.
I recall Jason who occasionally slept under a bridge in downtown Johnson City because he opted out of staying at local shelter agencies due to personal considerations. Our staff diligently prayed and worked with Jason by helping him with food, clothing, housing and obtaining a birth certificate and identification. He is now attending a local church, has a job and working on a B.S. at a local college. We see ourselves as missionaries here in Upper East TN who are called by God to serve on the front lines of battle serving the homeless and preventing homelessness one person at a time. Since the lives of people matter to us, it drives us to work hard to make a holistic difference not only in our community but in the world for the glory of Jesus Christ.
If only the walls of the Good Sam. lobby could talk, what would they say? They would probably respond with heavy tears to the countless encounters of those who had no other option or place to go to ask for help. So today, I exercise the call to be a voice for the voiceless military veteran who needs a food box, shower and clean pair of clothes. To be a voice for the voiceless little girl who went to bed hungry in the dark the night before, the single mother of three with no place to go, and the elderly woman whose fixed income doesn’t afford her enough for her much needed medications. Will you consider partnering with us this Holiday Season in prayer and giving a monetary donation to Good Samaritan Ministries to help someone with a hand up in the time of need? May these upcoming holidays be a huge blessing to you and yours. Thank you for trusting us to serve your community.