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Image: Image from Food For The Poor | Illustration by Tiffany Hardy

How the Pandemic Grew Our Church in Surprising Ways

Food For The Poor has allowed us to come together after a tough year to do what Christ challenged us to do.

How the Pandemic Grew Our Church in Surprising Ways

Food For The Poor has allowed us to come together after a tough year to do what Christ challenged us to do.

The local church is God’s plan A for life change in any community. It is always right for us to take on that mantle of leadership, but especially when there are critical needs to be met. The challenges of this past year have brought many needs to the surface. It has been hard work but also wonderful as the Lord has used many churches, just like ours, to see some of those met. Our church has been beautifully stretched as we’ve watched the Lord use us in reaching others.

Poverty has always been an issue, both internationally and throughout the United States, but the economic fallout from COVID-19 has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on low-income people who were already struggling. And it’s even worse for many other countries globally.

I am the lead and teaching pastor at Parkridge Church in Coral Springs, Florida, where we have seen first-hand the economic impact of the pandemic. We saw this as an opportunity to step up, make a positive difference, and show the church in action.

Making a Difference

The scale of the problem seemed overwhelming. We knew we needed to work with an organization that could support us in providing relief to our congregation and our community.

We partnered with Food For The Poor (FFTP), one of the largest international Christian relief and development organizations, to provide food, water, and essential household products for those in our community still struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The distribution was a success, and we provided hundreds of families with necessities and spiritual support from our prayer tent. Not only did we make a difference in each of their lives, but helping and serving others renewed us as a congregation.

Partners with Heart and Purpose

Parkridge loves any project like this because it allows us to put head, heart, and hands to work simultaneously. By partnering with FFTP, our church grows in our understanding of the Lord’s grace and purposes.

Since FFTP’s beginning in 1982, they have focused on relationship building with pastors and churches as well as donors, government agencies, and the people they are supporting. My trip to Haiti with FFTP made me appreciate their intentional focus on specific needs and targeted areas. Their emphasis on distribution points for local relief is a blessing, and Parkridge Church is glad to partner with them to help meet crucial needs.

Together in Christ

FFTP has allowed us to come together after a tough year to do what Christ challenged us to do in Matthew 25—to serve the “least of these.” They are now broadening their involvement in evangelical partnerships both in the United States and internationally. They have been a great group to work with toward the goal of meeting physical needs while attending to the greater spiritual needs that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can provide.

Pastor Eddie Bevill leads Parkridge Church in Coral Springs, Florida.