ShareFest Grand Junction shares hard work and caring » Isabel Marvin lost her husband of 63 years last Thursday. Sunday would have been a day of mourning for her, but her son, Tom Marvin, had already signed her up to be a ShareFest recipient. At first she balked, thinking it was for people in need. Then she realized that she was in need. The landscaping around her yard was at an unmanageable level with Juniper bushes growing up the six-foot privacy fence and ivy choking the garden beds. No sunlight had broken through for a very long time.
One weekend every year in the Grand Valley, church-based congregations and other groups come together to help out where needed doing projects that won’t get done any other way. Begun in 2008, ShareFest Grand Junction has grown to include hundreds of volunteers who, this year, went to 300 homes around the Grand Valley.
Sandra Adcox, a project leader for her church in Grand Junction had about reached the one-year mark since she lost her husband and could have spent her Sunday mourning the loss. Instead, she joined the many volunteers armed with all manner of work tools to help strangers in need.
Isabel and Sandra didn’t remain strangers for long. They bonded over shared losses, talking about nursing their sick husbands. Both shed tears and shared in the joy of finding a new friend.
"This is the fifth year for our church to be involved and we finished the day on Cloud 9," said David Phillips, project manager for the Grand Junction Seventh-day Adventist Church. "We want to support what ShareFest is doing in the community."
Longest Multi-Center "Kidney Chain" on Record for Two Transplant Patients from Porter Adventist Hospital » Two Denver-area residents and Centura Health's Porter Adventist Hospital are part of the longest multi-center "kidney chain" ever accomplished. When the chain is complete – a single recipient and single donor are still waiting for their surgeries – the chain will include a total of 35 kidney recipients and 35 donors. Twenty-six hospitals across the country are involved in the chain.
A kidney chain starts with an individual who wants to donate their kidney, most often to a friend or family member who is not a compatible match. Through the National Kidney Registry, that individual is then paired to another candidate with an incompatible donor. From this point, both donors give their kidneys to viable recipients, and the chain keeps growing by pairing donors with compatible matches.
The Denver participants in the most recent chain are Littleton resident Jerome Peralta, 45, who needed a kidney, and Michele Martin, 25, a longtime family friend of Peralta's who offered to donate a kidney so he could get the life-saving organ he needs. [more]
ACS Community L.I.F.T. Receives Colorado Garden Foundation Grant » On Sunday, April 19, ACS Community LIFT was a thrilled recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Colorado Garden Foundation. The grant is intended to help further ACS’ efforts at building a horticulture program that will enable presenting food pantry customers with the freshest produce possible.
ACS LIFT has already begun preparing all available land around the Center for planting. There will be container planters, a full garden in shared space with neighbors, local plots in one of the Denver Urban Garden spots, and a garden plot at the LifeSource Adventist Church’s community garden. Creativity is coming out of the woodwork! Trees are already being trimmed and land is being cultivated.
According to Donna Webb of ACS LIFT, one of the plans to help maintain these gardens, is to invite volunteers and staff to work side-by-side with clients to teach them the gardening process and show how easy it is to grow food at their own homes. Marilynn Banks, an Amercorps volunteer to ACS LIFT, is a master gardener who has taken on the challenge of helping to build the program into something sustainable for years to come.
One of the hardest and most expensive types of food to secure for customers is the fresh produce that this garden will help supply. If you are interested in supporting the project or in getting your gloves on and digging in the soil along with ACS LIFT, please contact ACS at 303-935-7389. [Donna Webb]
Campion's Academy Days Increase Attendance » Although faced with some big obstacles including rain that grounded the hot-air balloon and prevented anyone from enjoying a bird's eye view of the campus, Academy Days at Campion brought
out 82 student guests, an increase of 50 percent from the previous year. The guests were able to tour the campus, meet faculty, staff and current students, and get an idea of life at Campion. Several parents commented that the weekend was a success. [Spencer Hannah]
Disaster and Famine Relief Offering April 25 »
The Seventh-day Adventist community is strongest when it acts together. With your Disaster and Famine Relief offering, you are joining ACS (Adventist Community Services) and ADRA(Adventist Development and Relief Agency) to provide immediate relief to those i
n disaster and famine, as well as helping us rebuild homes, communities and lives.
Disasters close to home and around the world are growing in frequency, intensity and in the level of destruction they leave behind. The economic cost of rebuilding is higher than ever, but even more devastating is the cost of human suffering.
Whether it's a tornado in Oklahoma, families fleeing Boko Haram in Nigeria or a medical pandemic such as ebola in West Africa, each disaster leaves families displaced, communities destroyed and critical needs exposed.
ACS and ADRA are the humanitarian arms of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. ACS works within North America and also includes Hope for Humanity, a partnership with ADRA and the Health Department of the General Conference to provide ebola intervention in West Africa. ADRA is currently serving communities in more than 130 countries worldwide. [Cathy Kissner]
Outreach at Pinon Hills Results in Ten Baptisms » Pinon Hills Church in Farmington, New Mexico was recently the scene of a five week outreach effort that involved not only the pastor, Wayne Gayton, but many church members as well who helped with logistics, greeting visitors, providing rides, child care and music.
They prayed and prepared healthy snacks each night to encourage time for lingering and the forging of friendships. Many from the community attended with as many as 120 community members on some nights.
“This event was absolutely directed and blessed by the Holy Spirit,” shares Barbara Van Ryan, “which is evidenced by the ten new members: one by profession of faith and nine baptized over the past month, with more baptisms upcoming and Bible studies ongoing."
Newday Church Turns 10! » Newday Adventist Church in Parker celebrated its 10th birthday April 4, recalling the church launch which took place Easter weekend 2005 in an elementary school gym with 70 people in attendance.
Highlights from the past 10 years were shared through storytelling, video and pictures, including community outreach projects, mission trips, spiritual growth of members and people added to the kingdom through baptism. Two more took their stand for Jesus and were baptized during the celebration.
Newday currently has a weekly attendance of 200. They’re excited to see what God will do with them over the next 10 years.
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