God continues to be at work in and through the lives of our church family. And we wanted to celebrate just some of the vibrant and beautiful things that happened at theHeart in 2018. We hope you enjoy the words and pictures that follow below.
During a three-week campaign in February, theHeart raised more than $9,000 in support of Hope Pregnancy Center, one of our ministry partners. This money was given in addition to the $2,400 we provide annually through our church budget. And it went to fund programs designed to help new mothers like Dallas who turned to Hope during her unplanned pregnancy. READ MORE
In May and again in October theHeart baptized people at the New River. In 2018, we celebrated with 21 people whose lives have been transformed forever in response to identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In 2018, we had the privilege of discipling 13 college students through theInternship. This immersive experience in the vocation of ministry has created the opportunity for young men and women to become a vibrant part of our church family. Deep relationships and meaningful service are just some of the things they have involved themselves in during theInternship.
theHeart assembled an eight-person team that traveled to Badplaas, South Africa, in November. Doing so, we continued an ongoing partnership with our friends at Emoyeni as we assisted them in their efforts of restoring orphaned sons and daughters to our Heavenly Father.
Music From theHeart
In March we released "Heirloom: Reflections of the Psalms." Our first-ever music album features 10 songs that were all written, performed, and produced by people from theHeart. On Spotify alone, 748 different people have listened to "Heirloom" since it was released. During a single month, 127 different people from eight different countries have listened to our songs. It’s humbling and beautiful to know that so many people have somehow found their way to this heartfelt album. READ MORE
The Gift of Hospitality
In 2018 a dedicated group of volunteers spent a Sunday each month preparing and serving a hot meal at Hospitality House. We served 12 meals and spent around $1,350 on food supplies. If you're interested in helping to lead this group each month, please contact Josh Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Because of your generosity, theHeart was able to purchase a new sound system in 2018. Not only did we replace equipment that had served us well for more than seven years, we also made an upgrade to the way we make music at theHeart. Want to learn more about the new sound equipment and its capabilities? READ MORE.
Love In Action
Once again theHeart moved towards God and people by creating, coordinating, and participating in a variety of service projects during the course of 12 months:
In partnership with OASIS, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault in Watauga and Avery Counties, volunteers from theHeart helped with some spring cleaning at a local shelter.
Youth group members, grades 6-12, along with their family and friends, rolled up their sleeves and got to work repackaging food and assembling snack packs in support of Hunger and Health Coalition. Through a combination of collecting food and volunteering their time, a total of 50 soups, 24 meals, and 170 snack packs were assembled. READ MORE
In April, theHeart assembled and delivered 70 "Happy Bags" to local nursing home residents. These simple gifts included coloring books, Germ-X, crayons, socks, homemade cards, Bible verses, and sugar-free candy. theHeart dedicated two Sundays to collecting and packing the bags. READ MORE
We coordinated a one-day food drive that provided 13 local families with more than enough ingredients for each of them to prepare home-cooked Thanksgiving meals. That doesn't include the overflow of donations that were sent to area food shelves. READ MORE
During the school year, theHeart collected and donated a variety of items to Watauga High School. As a result, school social workers were able to distribute snacks, supplies, and even clothing to students in need.
Small groups at theHeart provided three separate families each with three months of food as part of a county-wide Summer Feeding Program.
Working closely with area social workers, small groups and individuals at theHeart partnered with the public schools to provide 10 local kids with wish lists of Christmas gifts.
theHeart supported the annual Back 2 School Festival by collecting and donating hundreds of erasers.
During our annual campaign in support of Operation Christmas Child, we packed and collected more than 100 gift-filled shoeboxes. It may have been more, but the wonky winter weather made it difficult to keep track.
Wherever God Takes Us
This review of 2018 is by no means comprehensive. We recognize and celebrate the many and varied ways our church family loves simple. In big ways. In small ways. Not to mention the unheralded ways that may go completely unnoticed.
Looking back serves as a reminder that the God who got us here will also get us there. We can't wait for what God has planned for us in 2019. #letsdothis
Pray With Us
Please join us in asking God for His discernment and direction throughout 2019. We're excited about the ideas we have for this year. And yet we want only the plans that will build His kingdom to flourish and those that are of our own making to fall away. We covet your prayers, always.