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Ministries Making a Difference

Billy Graham RRT, LifeWay Research, Potter’s House, Lavished Ministries

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is sending its first 2021 deployment of chaplains to provide “emotional and spiritual support” to COVID-19 patients at a 30-bed Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital. In 2020, the BG-RRT sent 47 teams around the world to victims of COVID-19 and other natural disasters, including to communities in Italy, New York, and the Bahamas. This deployment will serve in the ministry’s own backyard of Western North Carolina, where cases of the virus have spiked in recent months. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported the state’s highest one-day tally of positive cases (9,500) on New Year’s Day.

LifeWay Research is revamping its website in collaboration with two other LifeWay resources: Facts & Trends and Lifeway Pastors. The new central hub will continue to provide research projects along with analysis and commentary focusing on information relevant to church leaders. “We believe a centralized effort to emphasize the research side of what we offer to churches and leaders will lead to a stronger connection between LifeWay and pastors,” says Trevin Wax, senior vice president of Theology and Communications. The new website design will launch this month. 

The Potter’s House, a ministry of Sciotoville Church of the Nazarene in Sciotoville, Ohio, doubled its food distribution last year amid the COVID-10 pandemic. With the help of an Oregon-based farmer who gave 400,000 pounds of food, the ministry distributed more than 870,000 pounds of food to people within its county, where more than 80 percent live at or below the poverty line. Potter’s House also provides free tax services, along with help signing community members up with government assistance. 

Lavished Ministries, a nonprofit founded in 2014 that helps women in or transitioning out of the commercial sex industry, has expanded its ministry during the pandemic by reaching out to service workers through their online advertisements, since COVID-19 safety measures included the closure of clubs. Within three months, the 20 volunteers and five staff had connected with 400 women, according to the ministry. Lavished Ministries partners with 150 churches and individual donors to provide services such as food, temporary housing, mental health services, and others.

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Christina Darnell

Christina Darnell is a freelance writer who has contributed to WORLD, The Charlotte Observer, and other publications.