Blanketing Focus 40 with Love
By Carl Stagner
Last year, Feathersburg Church of God in Campbellsville, Kentucky, got so much out of the Focus 40 experience that they kept on fasting and expressing a deep desire to make a difference in their community. Before this year’s Focus 40 even began, the congregation was preparing to reach out beyond themselves and again make an impact on those around them. This congregation prays and fasts, but the two are just not enough for them. They’re committed to carry out the Great Commandments in their community.
Feathersburg Church of God has a unique ministry—they make blankets and distribute them to encourage the sick and needy. The chairperson of the benevolence committee discussed her dream to make forty blankets for the community during Focus 40 with Pastor Chris Copher, and the dream was about to become reality. Ephesians 3:20–21 proclaims, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (NIV). As of March 26, fifty-seven blankets had been made. The church would not wait to shower these blessings on their community. They distributed the blankets to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center, dialysis center, and cancer treatment center.
In addition to individual fasting and prayer, the youth group participated in a thirty-hour fast. For three years, the youth group has sought to experience a taste of hunger and learn more about the needs of the poor at home and around the world. During the fast, the youth participated in community service projects. A video showing and a missions presentation added insight and helpful instruction for how the local church can make a global difference. “It brought a great understanding for them of world hunger,” Copher explains, “and how blessed we are to live in a place where we have fast food on every corner and convenience stores available so readily, whenever we want it.”
Copher has encouraged his flock to also participate in the 360 Prayer Challenge. On the Sunday before Focus 40 began, Copher instructed the church to fill out the prayer cards and pray for (and invest in) three friends, for at least six days a week, and miss zero opportunities to build a relationship with them and share the love of God with them. “We’re praying for a harvest of souls, for lost loved ones, that the efforts that we make will bring the message of Jesus to others,” Copher says.
During Focus 40, God has already worked miracles at Feathersburg. “We’ve had reports of strengthening and healing, and we’re still believing for salvation,” Copher explains. “We had a little boy who had bleeding on the brain, causing a stroke-like effect on him. He came out of the hospital, is in rehab, and is on the road to recovery. We also had a little girl in our church who had complications from a recent surgery. She and her family were back in church this Sunday praising the Lord and full of thanks for the prayers.” That little girl also was the thankful recipient of a blanket of love.
Would you share your encouraging story of God at work during Focus 40? Did someone you know make a commitment to Christ? Have you witnessed a healing? Did a friend or a family member break free from an addiction? Share your story by clicking here!