This past Saturday was a very unusual day in Washington, D.C. Two large prayer gatherings of Christians came to town at a time when the need has never been greater.

I have seen just a little bit of the program of The Return, but was privileged to watch quite a bit of the Franklin Graham-led Prayer March that started at the Lincoln Memorial and made seven prayer stops, ending up outside the U.S. Capitol. At each stop, prayers were given by “prayer leaders” and the men and women and children in the crowd joined in with God’s people all over America!

There were a number of members of the Graham family involved, a number of “known” pastors/ministers and others. I was touched by the prayer of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who spent two years in a Turkish prison. I was also touched by the prayer of Alveda King, niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who continues his “ministry” with her organization “Civil Rights for the Unborn”. And I also appreciated the prayer of former major league baseball player Darryl Strawberry.

These were unusual gatherings. The crowd was greatly diversified by skin color, age, ethnicity, church and denomination, socioeconomic strata and so on. But there was one unifying factor; the people saw the need of prayer in our nation and believed that together they could make a difference as they came together, in one accord, to bow before the Throne of Grace of the God of the Universe.

There were no loud voices trying to drown out other “prayers”. There were no rocks or bricks thrown through business or vehicle windows. There were no fires started, no stores looted, no weapons fired. The prayer participants believe that “every life matters” and know that God sees the value and worth of every human soul from conception to natural death.

Prayers were made for all our leaders and lawmakers, national, state and local. Prayers were made for our families and homes. Prayers were voiced for our military and first responders. And prayers were lifted up for our churches at a time when revival is so needed.

There were simple prayers, personal prayers of confession. There were prayers of national confession for the sins of our nation, as a whole. There were prayers of repentance, personally and collectively. And there were prayers of intercession. One of the prayers that touched me most asked for forgiveness for the church and God’s people for our “sinful silence”.

Too long we have stood by and said, “it can’t happen here” and it has and still is. It’s time that we as Christians realize the spiritual warfare we’re involved in and the need for spiritual battle, on our knees, in our citizenship (voting, contacting representatives etc.), in our homes, businesses, schools and communities and take up the whole armor of God and enter the fray!

“In his prayer, Darryl Strawberry quoted John 14:6 where Jesus told a bewildered disciple, “I am the way, the truth, the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.”

Our world today is equally bewildered, seeking a way, a truth, a life, but not finding it because we reject the One who is all of that.

Christ is not a way, a truth or a life, just one of many. He is the only one. We seek our own way, our own truth, and really aren’t sure what “life” really is. But we miss the mark when we miss the Savior. At Calvary, He paid the full price for our sins; at the resurrection He sealed God’s plan of redemption for the ages. There is no second plan, no other way.

He is the way to heaven, but also the only way to really “make it” through this world with all the pitfalls, problems and troubles. He is the truth. In a world where many think there is no truth and others believe everything is truth, He shows us the truth of God, of man, of life and of eternity. And He is the life. Life is not just “existence”; Christ came to give life and to give it more abundantly (in this world) and eternal life in the next.

Yes, Saturday was an unusual day in Washington. I hope that it will not be the last, but will be the beginning of all of God’s redeemed spending much time on our knees for our nation. Our nation needs an answer. Our nation is seeking for an answer. Jesus Christ is that one and only answer! May God bless America because, through the prayers and actions of God’s people, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, revival comes to our land and America truly becomes blessable again.

(Note: Something else notable happened on Saturday. The President nominated a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. She appears to be able to literally read and interpret the Constitution, as written and intended, and seems to be a judge who will help save the lives of our most vulnerable, our unborn. Let us be in prayer for this process and contact Congress members to ask that they give her a fair hearing and vote!)

Coastline Women’s Center Needs You!

Each evening on the 11 o’clock news we hear the statistics on new positive Covid tests and the number of deaths for that day. We’ve been hearing the death toll from the recent storms and fires and while we understand that one death is too many, we feel relief when numbers go down.

But there is one statistic that continues steadily, each day, no matter what else is going on, and that is the tragic death toll from innocent infant boys and girls being killed in America’s abortion mills.

Thankfully, there are still many trying desperately to save these unborn human children and, in our area, one of the dedicated groups is Coastline Women’s Center.

Counseling mothers who are in crisis, conducting pregnancy tests and ultrasound scans, giving needed diapers and other items to new mothers, and sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Coastline is seeing babies saved from abortion, parents saved from the trauma of having aborted their child, and seeing men and women turn to Christ as Savior and Lord.

But currently, with the pandemic and the circumstances of our “world and local” situation, Coastline, a nonprofit organization, has not been able to conduct its usual fundraisers and funds are limited and dwindling.

We can help! Each gift you give is not only a donation, but also an investment in life and eternity. We cannot, we must not, let Coastline get to the place where they have to cut services or even close their doors.

How can you give? Mail your gift to Coastline Women’s Center, P.O. Box 3325, Myrtle Beach SC 29578. You can Text to donate: text the word COASTLINE in your message box to 91999. You can also give by going to the Coastline website coastlinewomenscenter.org.

Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Project collection week is Nov. 16-23. So, if you haven’t started working on your shoeboxes, you’re late!

With the storms and other disasters, pandemic and so on this could be a year when many decide to just “cut out” the shoebox project. We cannot do that! It’s times like this when it is even more important to share our love and the love of Jesus with needy boys and girls. And OCC is a wonderful, fun, not-to-expensive way of doing just that.

So, start picking up school supplies (they’re cheap right now), toiletries (as allowed), small toys and other fun things for children of all ages. You’ll be glad you did!

Continue to Pray for our Schools!

Horry County schools are back -- in one way or another. This year promises to be as “interesting” as the end of the past year proved to be.

Let us all pray for our students at every level, their parents, school administrators, faculties and school staffs. Education is important to our young people and we can all see if there are ways we can be a helpful and positive part of this school year “adventure”.

What Can I Do To Help?

The ongoing COVID-19 “pandemic”; the upcoming “flu season”. Financial upheaval caused by the current situation. Storm devastation. Wildfire destruction. The list of difficulties and problems seems never-ending.

Thankfully, there are many groups and individuals looking for ways to help out. Samaritan’s Purse, the Red Cross, many denominational disaster teams, Help4Kids, the Shepherd’s Table, Coastline Women’s Center, Bethesda for Single Mothers, CAP and many more need our help. Can we spare some time, financial or material help? We can all do something.

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying…when did we see You hungry, thirsty, a stranger or naked, or sick or in prison?’

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40)

International Day of Prayer

Sunday November 1 has been designated at the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. On that day, churches, families and individuals will focus on intercession for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are constantly in danger of imprisonment, torture or death.

Videos, prayer cards and other resources are available from The Voice of the Martyrs, info@vomusa.org. Plan now to have your church be a part of this important day.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Conway’s First Friday Evening of Prayer will be held this week at 7 p.m. at Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road. All are invited to come pray for our nation, our homes, our schools, our churches and other things. For directions or information phone (843) 369-7729.

AWANA Clubs will also begin for the fall at Bethany on Monday. An abbreviated Cubbie Program will be held from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Sparks, T and T, Trek and Journey will meet from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Distancing and safety procedures will be maintained and all clubbers and leaders are requested to wear face masks when in class and small groups. Phone the church at (843) 369-7729 or Larry Deeds at (843) 450-7414.

■ Union United Methodist Church, 4491 U.S. 701 South, invites you to a big yard sale Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (rain date: Oct. 10). The sale will feature lawn and house plants, homemade cakes and other goodies, household goods, framed art, furniture, antiques, books, party supplies, toys, linens, holiday decorations and much, much more.

The sale will be held on the front lawn of the Fellowship Hall and tables will be arranged for social distancing. Facemasks are encouraged. Park in the parking lot and avoid grassy areas.

All monies will be used for future outreach programs for the community and the event is sponsored by both the Women’s and Men’s Groups. Donations are welcome. Call Linda Griggs at (843) 397-5560.

■ Langston Baptist Church, 763 S.C. 905, invites everyone to its Fun and Safe Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat Oct. 31 from 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

This is a free event, rain or shine so come and bring your friends. Enjoy chili, hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, games, music, inflatables, dunking booth and more. There will be something for every member of the family. Phone (843) 365-5141 or email to LBC@langstonbaptist.com.

■ Tilly Swamp Survivors of Suicide, a new faith-based support group for those having lost someone to suicide, meets the first and third Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the church: 4619 S.C. 90. Phone (803) 566-0702.

■ The Catholic Church of St. James, 1071 Academy Drive, collects nonperishable food items for Catholic Charities and CAP Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the church.

Please help as you are able. Call (843) 347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.

■ Catholic Charities Pee Dee Thanksgiving and Christmas distributions are available for those in need of food items to create a Thanksgiving Dinner. Christmas Assistance is available to families with children under the age of 18.

Registration is required for this assistance and has just started. Registration is first-come, first-serve until all slots are filled. Call Catholic Charities Pee Dee at (843) 438-3108.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will distribute food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Please help as you are able. Call (843) 347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ Help 4 Kids and Backpack Buddies continue to provide food for 400-500 families per week and need your help. Suggested food donations include: peanut butter, jelly, pasta and sauce, rice, beans, cereal, macaroni & cheese, canisters of Kool-Aid, canned meats, snacks and chips.

You may also donate grocery gift cards used for produce, meats, dairy and bread and monetary donations are always appreciated.

And let’s not forget the need for back-to-school supplies, pencils, pens, notebooks and all the rest! Also, there is a need for new clothing, sizes 4 and up (especially teens); shoes and sneakers (any size), socks and underwear. And send gift cards that Help4Kids can use to purchase necessary goods.

The office is located at 2523 Forestbrook Road, Myrtle Beach SC 29588 (gifts may be mailed to that address also). Go online to www.help4kidssc.org.

■ Ground Zero of Myrtle Beach is hosting a special evening for Ministry Partners on Oct. 13 from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. This will be a special time of worship with Jason Roy of Building 429. Hear testimonies and more information about the ministries and impact of Ground Zero. Assorted hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided.

This is a closed event for GZ Partners, but partners are encouraged to be a table host and commit to bring four additional guests. There is no cost for the event. Please RSVP to Holly Williams at (843) 945-9440 or partners@groundzero.com.

■ Together in Christ has a Wednesday ZOOM Prayer Meeting from noon-12:30 p.m. each week. Prayer changes everything and you are invited to pray with the mid-week group. Email hgprayer @sccoast.net.

■ St. Philip Lutheran Preschool is currently registering students for the 2020-21 school year for the 2, 3 and 4-year-old classes. Come join the fun!

The Virtual Schoolhouse is available for any students in Kindergarten-fifth grade enrolled in virtual learning (hybrid and/or full-time) with Horry County Schools. Staff will provide guidance; document connection issues; and coordination of times for breaks, snacks and lunch.

Health and safety protocols will be followed to include: morning temperature checks, social distancing and required cleaning. Classes will be Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Contact the director, Jenn Loeswick, at stphilippreschoolmb@gmail.com or look us up on Facebook: St. Philip Preschool-Myrtle Beach. The preschool is located at 6200 N. Kings Highway. Call (843) 449-4322, and we’ll get back to you.

■ The fall Women of Passion Conference, Dare to Dream God-Sized Dreams (Ephesians 3:20) will be held Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at The Grace Place, 404 George Bishop Parkway in Myrtle Beach. Tickets go on sale this week. Contact Stacey Gurley at (864) 477-9683 or email to stacey@lovecoversus.com.

■ Infusion Ministries International Presents Blue Fire Conference with guest speaker David Hogan Oct. 10-11 at the Landmark Resort, 1501 South Ocean Blvd. Email to GotInfused@gmail.com or go to the website infusionintl.org.

■ St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 3301 33rd Ave. North, will hold its annual Greek Festival Oct. 15-18, opening at 11 a.m. on Thursday-Saturday and noon on Sunday. You won’t want to miss it.

■ The Colombiettes of St. Andrews Church, 37th Avenue North are in need of crafters and vendors for their November 7 Christmas Bazaar that will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Community Life Center. Contact Patricia Martelli at (908) 938-1433 or email patriciamartelli57@gmail.com.

■ The New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held Oct. 17 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Phone 843-215-4500.

■ Low Country Food Bank and Faith Outreach Ministries will sponsor another Drive-Thru Food Distribution at 4223 Socastee Blvd. Nov. 6 at 2:30 p.m. Phone (843) 215-4500.

■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet, has a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 17 Business near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or email Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.

Business Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

Business Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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