A local TV station recently did a story about our city. It’s interesting that many of the video and camera shots from their story are taken from our church parking lot and show the local community that surrounds us here in Galax. Here are a few quick facts they shared:
67 percent of students in the Galax City School System qualified for free and reduced lunches in 2015. In 2008, less than 50 percent qualified. Superintendent Bill Sturgill said he watched this number skyrocket since he came on board in 2005.
When the recession was supposedly at its peak in 2008, 32 percent of children in Galax lived below the poverty line. In 2013, that number had grown to 37 percent.
These numbers sharply contrast with other places across the Commonwealth.In 2013, four percent of kids in Loudoun County were living in poverty and 11 percent in Arlington County.
When Jesus started his ministry, this is what He announced:
Luke 4:18-19 NLT
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.
Our church has been active in ministering to our community. We see the effects of poverty all around us. Poverty is so much more than a lack of material possessions. It is brokenness and hopelessness. So many times, people stuck in poverty need someone to come along beside them and help them. Money is not the solution, but compassion is. Here are a few of the ways we are trying to build relationships and help
- volunteering at the local soup kitchen
- we host a community meal once each month
- we have a clothes closet
- we have an after-school program that we host in cooperation with the local police and local recreation department
- we do ministry projects
- we support many local ministries that deal directly with the homeless and hurting
Sometimes it feels overwhelming, but we must work to heal the brokenness in people’s lives and help them realize that true healing and true hope is only found through Jesus Christ.
Here is the entrance to our community room where we host our community meal. We do believe in Grace, and we hope that people can experience grace and find peace with God through our ministries.
And finally, here is the video of the new’s report.