The month of November was eventful and beautiful. We had the opportunity to reach the community through HOP’s Fall Fest and within a few weeks we were celebrating Thanksgiving.
Fall Fest only lasted one night but took weeks of preparation and left lasting memories. I was assigned the task of running a singular corn hole board. I never thought it would’ve got any traction, but kids kept coming back. I might have made it too easy to get candy. The other booths displayed extraordinary creativity. My sister Hope, for example, had a booth where there laid dozens of sheep on a table and the booth was called “Are You A Good Shepherd?” The kids had to try to find the missing sheep in one of the three bowls after Hope shuffled the bowls around. Alluding to Jesus being like a good shepherd in leaving the ninety-nine sheep to find the one. Those kids were more fun than I ever could have imagined. It was truly a blessing to get play with the kids and be amidst such amazing fellowship.
During the slow moments of running my station, I remember massive amounts of pandemonium, from kids and adults alike, at times like the auction, the cake-walk, and the chili contest. All that is outstanding, but it is a small part of what the event really means. Whenever Fall Fest is advertised, it is sometimes misrepresented as a substitute for Halloween. It is true that Fall Fest is for the kids to have a better and more godly outlet, but it is more than just letting kids get candy and dress up. It is an opportunity to sow seeds in children and adults alike. At Fall Fest, we have the best chance to witness through our actions. Pastor White has taught in the church that your faith and commitment to God is shown over time and through actions. Sunday school teacher, Shayne Hensley, commonly uses the quote, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Events, such as Fall Fest and Vacation Bible School, are really outreach programs that allow us to show the community God’s love.
On the service before Thanksgiving, Nick White spoke about the pilgrims and warned everyone not to let our forefathers to define our religion. You must seek God for yourself. Then they played a video showing what we can grateful for, even if we do not have much. Each of the services, before and after Thanksgiving, involved a common theme of a perpetual attitude of being grateful. While we do give thanks in this season, that doesn’t mean we stop giving thanks when the season is over. Every service, we, the church members, intend to come to church with a heart full of thanksgiving and high expectations, as my pastor would put it.
Now, as we prepare for more events, such as the Christmas Service, the Christian Academics play, and many more to come, I am truly grateful for my church family and how hard they work. I am thankful God gave me ministries to be a part of and the people that He sends, all of which seek to glorify His name. The work is not done and never will be, but we step forward with a heart for God and an insatiable drive to see that the lost are found.