“And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” Moses had led the Israelites out of a life of bondage to “a promised land.” They could have entered much sooner if they had listened and trusted God, but they didn’t and they spent 40 years in the wilderness. God provided food, water, protection, direction and even a way to get through when a large body of water blocked their path. When the time came, Joshua was the one who actually led the Israelites into the land they had been promised. Moses told Joshua and the people to remember that God would be with them and would see them through, no matter what. God would not leave them.
The same is true today. God does not leave us. He is ready to lead you, guide you and do what is best for you, but you have to listen and obey. That doesn’t mean that everything is going to be “hunky dory.” It doesn’t mean that everything is going to be easy and go the way you want. Setbacks and difficult times are part of life but they can help make us better human beings, if we rely on God.
In 1999, many people were concerned about the beginning of the new century. There were rumors that utilities would be out and delivery trucks wouldn’t be able to get through. Many people panicked and bought all kinds of groceries and other items. Some people filled their bathtubs full of water on December 31, because it might be a long time before they had water again. New Year’s Eve millions of people watched the ball in New York City come down and there were fireworks. A new century, the year 2000, had begun. What happened? Nothing. God must have sat up there and smiled as people finally realized everything was okay. The electric did not go off and people didn’t lose their water. Unless you were somewhere that had a major storm or some other type of problem, the new year was celebrated and people were happy. God was still in control.
“But this is different!” Yes, it is, but if people work together we can get through this. The main news on television, radio and papers is the coronavirus situation, and we need to be concerned. Illness is not pleasant and can be a financial setback, but according to reports, most people recover in two weeks. Do everything you can to stay healthy yourself. Don’t let yourself get run down, follow any medical advice you are supposed to and wash your hands often. You can’t help loved ones if you aren’t well yourself. If you are sick, stay put. Don’t go out in public, don’t be around other people. Just like the flu and other diseases, stay home and get well.
Don’t panic. That does not help you or anyone else. Use common sense and do what you can do for yourself and others. Remember that just as God got the Israelites through the wilderness, just as He has guided America through crisis before, He will get us through this if we let Him. He is still in control and our greatest shield is still prayer.
President Trump declared last Sunday “National Day of Prayer” and one area church bulletin included a prayer for that day. You may want to say that prayer as we go through this crisis. “Dear God, Remove our anxiety over the Coronavirus. Help us to live in your calm and peace. Remind us to care for ourselves so that we are not placing others at risk and then do what we can to help others. Give our health care providers the knowledge and the strength they need to care for those who need it. Blanket us with Your love and grace. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN GOD BLESS THE USA.
Long before the health crisis began, a Church of God in Warren County had scheduled a mission trip for February. Former Grand Valley resident, Lenora Wencil, and three members of her family recently returned from that trip to the Dominican Republic. Lenora has many relatives and friends in the Enterprise area and she wanted to share her experiences with them and others. Lenora, her daughter Linda and her two grandsons, Logan and Garret spent Friday night, Feb. 20, in Pittsburgh. The next morning they joined a group of people who were part of the mission team, and they flew from Pittsburgh to Newark, and then to the Santa Dominico Airport. From there, the group of 40 boarded a school bus and rode to the MGM Compound (Meeting God Missions Compound).
The group was tired, but they went to a church service on Sunday morning, then got organized for the week. Their days started early. They got up at 7 a.m., had breakfast at 8 and left at 9 to go to work. There were different types of work and the people could choose what they wanted to do. Some chose construction, working on the interior of a house. Some liked to paint and they painted the interior of a medical building. Others went with the medical group. Previously, the mission group had brought doctors with them, but then they had to have a translator. This time, the group used the local doctors and it was much easier for the mission group and the village people. If a church was available, the group set up there and if not, they put a tarp between two buildings. In the triage area, they took and recorded the blood pressure and temperature of each one and then the doctor examined them.
After seeing the doctor, each one was invited to join others in a circle of chairs and express their needs, then the mission people would pray with them. Lenora said, “It was a real joy to me to hear my 16-year- old grandson pray for the people and their needs.”
One day, the group went house to house with an evangelist and prayer team. They walked through the village and when they saw someone, a translator would explain that they wanted to talk. The villagers were gracious and wanted to visit. After talking, they were open to prayer. One group had Bible school for the children that week.
The mission group did not want to eat in front of the villagers and they always went back to the compound for lunch. They usually had sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese or turkey and cheese and condiments. Each day, they had an igloo full of water, because the water in the area was so bitter. Sometimes, the ice cream shack was open and they enjoyed that.
One night the minister had a baptism service at the compound. Two nights, the group went to the village church service. On Friday, some of the group went to the beach (Carribean Sea). Some went swimming while others sat on the beach and watched. Lenora took a lot of pictures. The MGM Compound set up tables and had pizza for the group at the beach. Some people stayed at the compound that day, then went to the village to distribute rice, beans and Bibles. They also gave clothing to the children that had been donated by churches in the States.
Saturday morning, the mission group left the compound with the feeling that “there was still much to be done, but we felt good about what we had accomplished.” They arrived in Pittsburgh late Saturday night, and Lenora and her family returned home to Warren Sunday afternoon. It had been an interesting and inspiring trip
— Enterprise Methodist Church, Pastor Penny Helmbold - Saturday, 6 p.m., Family Night. Sunday, 9 a.m., worship; 10:15, Sunday school; 6 p.m., Youth group (parsonage). Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. Bible study
— Faith Community Church, Rev. Jerry Drake - Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.
— Pleasantville Community, Rev. Shawn Jacobson - Friday, 6 p.m., Musicians Gathering. Saturday, 11 a.m., “Ladies Alive.” Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 10:45, worship; 4 p.m., Youth Group. Tuesday, 6 p.m., Men and Women’s Bible study.
— Pleasantville Presbyterian - Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Session meeting. Sunday, 9:30, worship and communion with guest speaker Rev. Rick Cepris.
— Pleasantville Methodist, Pastor Janet Sill - Today, 11:15 a.m., Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry (firehall). Thursday, 10 a.m., Bible study on “He Chose the Nails” led by Pastor Janet. Sunday, 9:50, worship; 11, Friendship Circle, “An Argument Against Corruption.” Monday, 6:30 p.m., District General Conference (Saegertown).
— Pleasantville Free Methodist Church, Rev. Chuck Riel - Today, 11:30 a.m., Ladies Birthday Luncheon (Corky’s); 6:30 p.m., Worship team; 7:30, Prayer meeting. Sunday, 8 a.m., prayer; 9:45, Sunday school; 11, worship; 12:30 p.m., Small group on “The Rock, the Road and the Rabbi.”
— Pleasantville Independent Baptist, Pastor Richard LaRocque - Tonight, 7, Bible study/prayer meeting. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.
— Full Gospel, Rev. Ben McCauley - Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Lord’s Extended Hands Store. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11 worship.
— Shamburg Christian Church of God, Rev. Fred Frye - Tonight, 6:30, Bible study. Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Board meeting. Saturday, 1 p.m., Secret Sister Reveal Party. Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship; 11:15, Sunday school.
— Grand Valley Methodist Church, Pastor Penny Helmbold - Tonight, 6, Bible study (Sarah’s). Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship; 6 p.m., Youth group (parsonage).
Pleasantville TOPS met Thursday evening at the Pleasantville Community Church with 12 weigh-ins and a total weight loss of 10 pounds and three turtles (weight stayed the same). There were four KOPS and eight TOPS with Sally as the top loser and Janet as the KOP.
The challenges are: Watch your portions and drink water. The positive thought was: “Did you lose weight?”
Loretta’s menu was chosen, Belinda won the 25-cent fund and 50/50 rolled over.
There will be no meeting for at least two weeks. For more information, contact Cathy at (814) 589-7162.
— Tomorrow is the first day of spring. Snowdrops and crocuses are out and robins have been seen. Spring is coming. It is a time of renewal, a time of hope. Hold on and don’t give up.
— As everyone knows, all area schools are closed for two weeks and that includes all school activities. It has presented a problem to those who work and need someone to be with their children. Thanks to relatives and friends who have stepped up and are willing to watch children during that time. Many people are making sacrifices, but if we work together, we will come through.
Due to circumstances, many events have been postponed or cancelled. Most large gatherings have been cancelled, but some small groups are still taking place. Many scheduled dinners and even some restaurants will be doing take-out or drive-through only. You may want to verify an event before you leave to attend.
— The Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry will be at the Pleasantville pavilion today. Please note, distribution will be at the pavilion behind the fire hall, not in the fire hall. Those who pre-registered may pick up their food boxes between 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and proof of residency must be presented. Thanks to the Pleasantville Methodist Church for sponsoring this ministry.
— Pleasantville Senior Citizens will not meet until April. For more information or to sign up for lunch, contact Ginger Mangel or Leona Burrows.
— The Titusville Community Lenten service will be held at noon today at the Titusville Methodist Church. Today’s speaker will be Dr. Vaughn Smith, minister of the Titusville Presbyterian Church. There will be no luncheon after the service, but anyone who would like to make a donation for the Presbyterian Missions may do so.
— Love INC has cancelled their Winter Picnic which was scheduled for Thursday evening. If they are able to re-schedule, they will let us know.
— The Pleasantville Fire Department will have their fish dinner Friday evening but it will be take-outs only. To place an order, phone the fire hall after 1 p.m., at (814) 589-7635. The main course is fried or baked fish or chicken nuggets and the meal includes baked potato or French fries, coleslaw or applesauce, beverage and dessert. Meals can be picked up from 4:30 to 7, and they will deliver in the borough. When you place your order, let them know what you want to do.
— Area restaurants will be open for take-outs only. For more information, call the restaurant.
Our military list includes Ben Lewis, Shy Lewis, Heather Luchka, Kimberly Miles, Sydney Callahan, Kimberly Savitz, Lucas Savitz, Autumn Kinney, Austin Kinnery, Cody Sterling, David Vroman, Bill Wencil, Trey Tanner, Steve Batko, Jay Bowes, Dalton Burns, Jacob Hart, Josh Jacobson, Ben Nosko and Andrew Moronski.
We remember in prayer Glenn Ames, Chandra Brandon, Mary Ann Kopper, Kyle Miller, Bob Morris, Richard Kinney, Mike Firster, Kay Seeley, Paul Thompson, Jerry Potter, Elwin Van Cise, Lloyd Jackson, Martha Thompson, Sue Wagner, Jami Hillman, Audrey Walters and Gary Fratus.
Birthday greetings this week go to Roxanne Van Warner on March 19, Sandy Vroman and Wyatt wogger on March 20, Ray Sterling, Jeremy Andrews and Grace Stoke on March 21, Robin Wallace and Kara Stowe on March 22, Brooklyn Sweitzer and Twila Williams on March 23 and Cody Jackson, Kearstin Carter and Matthew Savitz on March 25.
Happy anniversary to Connie and Randy Wescott on March 22. May everyone have a wonderful day.
Nancy Mulvin can be reached at (814) 516-3787.