Recently, I was able to “go home” and preach in Lyons, the very town that I grew up in and graduated high school from. It was wonderful to see what the Lyons Community Church is doing. They are a small congregation, but their outreach to their neighbors is huge! They handed out 200 donated Thanksgiving baskets to those in need in their town, even going to the nearby town to purchase a turkey for those who didn’t have a way to go. They provided a warm chili dinner to the entire town at their annual parade of lights. And their tiny church has been turned into a food pantry, and a clothing and food bucket distribution point. This congregation knows what it is to love their neighbor.
After the church service, I was able to drive around and really view the damage left from the floods in Lyons. It was much more devastating than I even imagined. While many have been able to move back home and schools have started back up in Lyons, there are many who have lost everything. Everywhere you drove, visible red X’s were on houses that are uninhabitable. There is much to be done in Lyons.
As we begin a new year thinking of new beginnings, please continue to pray for those who are still trying to figure out where to live, how to clean up the messes left in their houses, and how to replace all that has been lost. Pray for their journey through this process, and pray that they will be given wonderful new beginnings. And let us look at the example of our sister church, the Lyons Community Church, and reach out and love our neighbors right where they are in whatever messes they may be in.