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Hearts for Hope—Update from Pastor Jim

On the same day, Friday, April 17, just three hours apart, I was made aware of two pressing needs in the midst of COVID19. One need came from members of our church and Sun City West residents concerned about the lack of food available at local food banks … Agua Fria and Valley View. “We need to do something!” was the thought on everyone’s mind.

A second need came from our Executive Presbyter of the Grand Canyon Presbytery, Brad Munroe, who described in his weekly newsletter how the virus had impacted the Navajo Nation. Here is a sampling from that report …

“Our brothers and sisters on the Navajo Nation need help. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the Nation particularly hard, according to the Rev. Norma McCabe, our Native American consultant among the Navajo churches. One of our church members lives in Dennehotso, AZ. She and her elderly mother have health problems. They came to Bashas and were told not to come in unless they wore a mask and gloves. Not possessing either, the woman asked a person who had gloves and a mask on to buy them their items. Bashas only had half of what they needed in stock. They eventually came over to the church and I gave them masks my daughter had made. Some of our congregants live away from town so they don’t have running water nor electricity and have to come to the church to cook and shower. Others have to drive up to 60 miles round trip to grocery shop. In addition to the supply shortages and long drives to get to a grocery store, the hospitals and clinics cannot handle Covid19 treatments and patients are being transported to Flagstaff or Albuquerque. There is a 5:00 curfew on the Nation because of the number of COVID19 cases.”

Knowing how desperately our brothers and sisters in Christ need food and supplies, the leaders of Grand Canyon Presbytery put out a request to all the churches in the presbytery.

Soon everyone’s imagination was in full gear and thus came into being the “Hearts for Hope” Fundraiser. Volunteers gathered on Thursday, April 23, to receive gifts of money and non-perishable goods. Checks began arriving at the church. By Thursday April 30, approximately 1 ½ tons of food and supplies had been received and $28,143!  In the coming days we will let you know how and where your dollars were put to use. Thank you for all who gave. You are truly a loving and generous congregation!

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