By Rev. Joshua Swanson, Director
What has it been like to find a sense of togetherness? What is it like to meet in person now and be able to worship?
Community is a vital part of Augusta Wesley. So much so that we named our Wednesday night Bible study “Community.” This is because community is one of the major aspects with focus on the Augusta Wesley. Last year, Augusta Wesley was almost non-existent because of COVID. This made it challenging for students to get together and worship. As a result, the number of people who came to Wesley dropped significantly.
This semester we have attempted to ramp up the sense of community and worship. This semester we have had three different students plan and lead worship or preach a sermon. Our students have mentioned how the worship services have caused them to feel less stressed about school and life. Worship has become a safe space where, no matter what is going on in the lives of our students, they can lay them at the door if only for a few hours.
We have a student who attends Wesley who has suffered from seizures her entire life. This obviously makes many aspects of her life tough. This impacts how she can get around, where she is able to go, if she is able to do certain activities, and much more. One of the worst aspects of her condition is that doctors are not entirely sure what causes it. This has led to her having to have many surgeries, procedures, and tests done in hopes of diagnosing the cause of her seizures.
Recently, she was preparing for another test. She and her family would have to travel more than 250 miles to another state for the test. This caused her to be filled with a lot of anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and nervousness. After service one day she expressed these feelings to me. She was on the verge of crying. So, we as a community came together and all laid hands on her and prayed for her. About eight students said prayers for her that night and even more stood with her to pray. Afterwards, she immediately cheered up.
Thank you, South Georgia, so much for seeing the importance of this ministry. Even if you do not physically see the lives you changed, I want you to know you have truly touched and changed many lives. Your donations and time have given many young students a place to come and have a safe community to worship. As we move forward in the coming years we hope to reach many more students and pray that you will continue to support our mission.