In the Church of the Nazarene, we celebrate October as Pastor’s Appreciation Month. This October 2017, rather than promoting Young Clergy Network and doing a bunch of giveaways, we’ve decided to partner with young clergy affected by recent hurricanes to bless them and their ministries. We’re calling them Digital Love Offerings. You can see their stories at thisnazlife.com and donate at gofundme.com/digital-love-offering-orange-first or thisnazlife.com/donate. After a month, we will total up the donations and pass them on to these pastors, to support the rebuilding efforts as they see fit. We hope you will partner with us to pray for and support these young pastors.
This week: Orange Church of the Nazarene: Kenneth and Andrea Lauver in Orange, Texas. Here is their story in their own words:
We are and Andrea and Kenneth Lauver. Through a crazy turn of events and a lot of prayer, we took the position to be CO-Youth Pastors at Orange First Church of the Nazarene in Orange, TX just over 4 months ago, in May. It has been a whirlwind of a Summer. About a month after accepting the position as CO-Youth Pastors we got married on June 17th.
Just over a month ago Hurricane Harvey hit our community. About 50 homes of families in our congregation were damaged, including all of the families on staff, as well as our church which got three feet of water and sewage backup. Our parsonage sits about 3 feet off the ground which saved all of our belongings and our house from receiving substantial damage. The water got up so high that it came up through our floor and ruined most of our flooring and three walls. We are expected to be back in our home in two to three weeks. A more than kind family in our congregation has opened their home up to us for the last three weeks. They have brought us in and made us feel a part of their family. It has been a huge blessing to us. In this last month, we have seen people share their homes, groceries, generators, pillows, and many other things. We have seen people sacrifice their belongings and choose to go without in comfort so others could be taken care of. Our church building which was regularly used by many only 2-3 times a week is full every day of volunteers from all over the country. Every evening church members provide meals for those volunteers and all eat together. We are experiencing Holy days of seeing God’s kingdom erupt on earth as it is in Heaven.
What are some prayer requests for you two personally, for your church, and for your ministries?
Pray that we would continue to be open to seeing how God is working to make all things good around us, especially on the days where we feel tired and overwhelmed. Most of all pray that the spirit of giving and sacrificial love that has permeated our community would continue as many settle into new “normals,” so that all would see us and know whose we are.
How can the YCN community support you beyond prayer?
We are still very early in the process of rebuilding so if someone wanted to donate to the church with the youth group in mind that might be the most helpful at this time since we don’t really have places to store things that people might donate right now.