Sun Ministries' Community Pastoral Care Network has been up and running for several months now. It consists of a network of virtual volunteers who are calling at-risk people every week to talk and ask about needs, a group of committed, on-the-ground missionaries and volunteers ready to meet those needs, and a small but dedicated team of administrators who oversee the whole thing.
One of our goals was to provide emergency maintenance services, such as repairing a leaking roof or pipe. We've done this, and more. Tuckpointing, deck repair, gutter repair, grab bar installation, fixing doors, securing stairs. And more. Nearly every weekend we've been going out to help secure people's homes and keep them safe and cared for.
It's been a joy to serve our neighbors, especially those who are elderly and don't have means or connections to keep their homes secure and safe from the elements. We see all the CPCN work as a way to follow Jesus in His mission to accomplish Isaiah 61, which was the Scripture He read in the synagogue, recorded in Luke 4:
[Luke 4:17-19 NASB] And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD."
This is the mission of Jesus, and it's ours as well. We are learning to love our neighbors, and do it in a way that is intentional and that can include many people, from all over the country, into that process. We've heard astonishing and heartbreaking stories, shared prayers, and have simply listened to concerns and complaints, while trying to do what we can to meet the physical needs.
Though many of the people we're serving are lonely, they are filled with joy and faith. Even in the midst of a pandemic that separates them from church, family, and friends, they are steadfast and hopeful. Which really should not be a surprise, though it is very humbling. Several of them have spoken with us about their families and jobs and various struggles. They are delighted to just be together with other people. They've spoken of their faith, and were very happy to pray for us.