Jen Lake, Cleveland — Pandemic Ministry
Our Family: Emily is 15 years old and finishing up 10th grade this year. She currently holds a 4.222 grade point average. She enjoys being outdoors and being is passionate about social justice. Eli is 12 years old and in 6th grade. He loves hiking the Cleveland Metro Parks, gardening and reading. Life has been different since Sam went to heaven. Some days, we are still adjusting but overall we are doing well. Counseling, Jesus and the hope of heaven sure help. We remember all the good times with Sam and continue to make good memories – just the 3 of us. Thank you kindly for all of your prayers, much appreciated. Pandemic Ministry: Helping others in our community continued even though COVID19 hit in March of 2020. I have been involved in the food pantry ministry of church, The Rock Community Church via Garfield Human Development Corporation for several years helping community members shop for necessary food items and sharing the gospel message. Our family masked up and put on gloves to prep food bags during the pandemic. Then we filled the bags with shelf stable food items. Twice a month, our church held a drive thru pantry. I was the meet-n-greet person, signed in each family. At the height of the pandemic, our pantry served 500 plus families twice a month. As the greeter, I had the opportunity to see familiar faces, meet many families, hear stories of hardship, build relationships and more. I cried with families, prayed with people, referred people to area resources, answered questions regarding the church/city/schools and so much more. The Lord gave our church, The Rock Community Church, a way to help our community. We also have been signing people up for vaccines and we held a community forum to discuss ways to initiate racial healing in our city. Tommy & Hollie: Late March of 2020, I met Tommy & Hollie on the side of the road, evicted in need of bus fare. I gave them bus money and a list of area resources. Little did I know that over the next year during a pandemic, God would ask me to become very involved in their lives. Tommy slept on a mattress in my garage for awhile. I stored his belongings. Fed him when he stopped by my house. Supplied masks, let him do odd jobs to keep his phone & more. Hollie’s sister died of an overdose. Hollie was headed there herself. I was able to direct her to a rehab facility – she’s 10 months clean, paid all her warrants, faithfully going to AA meetings, volunteering at church, seeing her family and looking amazing. Tommy ended up in county jail. I kept in contact with him and his mom. He was released to are a rehab program, graduates April 22, he’s 7 months clean, has a job, looking into counseling, working on his relationship with his mom and looks so much healthier. I am proud of both Tommy and Hollie. God has definitely worked in their lives! Please continue to pray for Tommy and Hollie as they start this new chapter.