Customers at a Gloucester laundromat were in for a surprise one when members of Petsworth Baptist Church offered to cover the cost of having their laundry done. The question that quickly followed was, “Why are you doing this?” Their generous benefactors were able to share, “Because Jesus loves you and we want to serve you!”
Pastor John Pouchot recalls, “…58 members of the church, undergirded by the prayers of 30 to 40 others, went out into Gloucester County with the intent of being salt and light through various acts of good works.”
The laundromat was just one of several locations that were touched during Petsworth’s Community Impact Day. Teams gave away coffee and donuts at Wal-Mart and the Tractor Supply Store. Others prayer walked through a neighborhood and engaged in conversations with those who were out in their yards. Some went up and down Main Street, giving out goodie baskets to people in businesses, the post office, the library, and first responder/law enforcement locations. With each encounter, they offered to pray, extended an invitation to visit the church, engaged in Gospel conversations, and provided encouragement to all. One team had the special assignment of visiting and praying with a young family dealing with cancer.
The teams were supported by a nursery crew who took care of their children for over four hours and by a hospitality crew who provided food for when the teams returned.
The local Chick-fil-A franchise owner, John Gordon, was so blessed by Petsworth’s ministry that day, he posted the following on Facebook:
A heartfelt thank-you to the wonderful people of Petsworth Baptist Church. Last Saturday, they came into the restaurant around lunchtime. We were running fast and hard!
They approached me and asked if they could take just a minute to pray for me and my team. Right in the middle of the restaurant, we bowed our heads and gave glory to God, asking for His peace and healing in the lives of all of us who work at Chick-fil-A of Gloucester. Afterward, they presented us with a generous basket of treats to
share with the team.
I was, and still am, deeply touched by this remarkable gesture of love and friendship. Thank you, Petsworth Baptist Church, for living your faith so publicly. It is truly a leaven in our community.
Although Community Impact Day began as a once-a-year event, the church now plans to host several throughout the year. What an opportunity as a church to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who desperately need Him! The words of our Lord come to mind: “‘You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…In the same way, let your light shine before others, so they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven’” (Matthew 5:14-16, ESV).