Hi Amesbury friends! I hope this blog finds you all well this week. I don’t know about you, but right around this time I am finding that the doldrums of winter have begun to set in for me.  I’m ready for spring (of course I’m always ready for spring), but it’s just not quite time yet.  If I’m not careful I find myself a little bit lackluster, craving the longer, warmer days of spring and summer. Then this morning I began thinking of Ecclesiastes chapter 3, where God reminds us that: 

1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

What a great reminder that everything happens in God’s timing, which we at this point may not fully understand.  And although we may not understand it, there is something we can do - trust that he has made everything beautiful in its time, be happy and do good!  

Well what a perfect time to talk about all the good that has been being done.  Last weekend was awesome!  On Saturday, a group of us put into action what we’ve been talking about in our Real World sermon series on the Book of James.  First, we started out bright and early giving out free coffee and donut holes in front of the methadone clinic on the Haverhill/Plaistow line.  It was a great time of showing the love and blessing others.  Unfortunately, our time was cut short (funny story, ask me about it sometime), but it worked out great because it allowed us to go over to Amesbury and help out at the trustee’s work party. The other great thing was that so many other people were there working too!

 If you haven’t been downstairs to see how great that is coming along, or in our newly reorganized and cleaned nursery, you’ve got to see all of these things in person! A HUGE thank you to all the volunteers who showed up, and a reminder that if you weren’t able to make it, there is another trustee’s work party this weekend on Saturday, Feb. 25th and plenty more to do.  If you have any questions on projects, timing or what tools to bring, feel free to give Mike Haggstrom a shout at haggstrom5@msn.com.  

After we worked for a while at the work party, a small group of us went around downtown Amesbury to spread some more love by giving away care packages lovingly baked and packaged by Debra Haggstrom and her Friday morning women’s group (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU LADIES!).  It was an opportunity to meet people just walking around, visit the APD and AFD and to engage with shop owners and others in our community.  I think many people felt blessed after getting their care packages, I certainly know we were!  


Another exciting thing that is coming out of this outreach is that our ministry will be working with a few of the local shops to provide what you may hear referred to as “suspended coffee”.  How it works is that members of our congregation can go in to Ovedia or The Market Street Bakehouse to buy coffee, and then pay for and “suspend” an extra cup of coffee (or two) until someone who needs it comes in.  Think about it - a homeless person on a cold day - or a single mom who forgot her wallet– or that person who the counterperson can see is just having a really crummy day – could all have their coffee taken care of by us.  What a blessing that could be in someone’s day! We are still working out the details of “The Coffee Pot” with our downtown stores, but the hope is to eventually extend it to beyond our congregation to other members of the community for suspending coffee, bottled water, pizza slices and other food items for homeless and other members of our community.  Stay tuned for additional details and drop me an email, text or call if you are interested in helping with The Coffee Pot outreach effort. 

MISSION UPDATE: My last item today is a brief mission update.  First, we want to keep our Texas Mission Team lifted up in prayer as the advance teams begin to leave today and the full team follows behind on Saturday.  Keep them in your prayers for good health, decent weather and opportunities to build new relationship while they are serving down in Texas. 

Second, we will be preparing for our next Honduras mission trip, which will take place later in the summer, most likely sometime in July.  I am waiting for airfare quotes to finalize details, but we will be having an information session on Sunday, March 26th after the second service in Plaistow (so around 12:45) to talk about our last trip and see who may be interested in joining the team in the future.  I’ll send out a reminder as this draws closer, but if you are interested in hearing what God is doing through us in Honduras, please mark your calendars because we would love to see you there! 

Finally, I want to let you all know that Jon and I will be leaving for the Philippines to visit Lily on March 6th.  We will only have 5 short days of visiting and doing ministry with her, but we are so excited!  We would LOVE to take any letters or notes of encouragement for her that you would like to send with us.  She still has over 3 months out in the field after our visit so we’d love to bring some extra encouragement from all of you to her when we go.  We will need letters and notes no later than SUNDAY MARCH 5TH.  

I hope you are not falling into a winter funk like I was, but if you are look around at all the good being done and get out there and do some good as well.  Remember as Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians chapter 6, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  

I look forward to continuing our study through the Book of James together this weekend at Rock Church Amesbury at 10:10am, and don’t forget breakfast and LifeGroup beforehand at 9:00am. 

Blessings on your week! 

P. Rachel

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