While I was visiting a parishioner in the hospital at a previous appointment, I noticed that she had a small item from home on her bedside table. It consisted of a block of wood with the name Jesus on it in such a way that it took me a moment to figure out what it said. It was a small item that had obviously been brought from home for the comfort it gave her. I thought that it would be a good idea of have some small token like that to hand out to those who were hospitalized and shut-ins.
Going further back to the 2012 Kansas East Annual Conference last year there was a booth by Holy Land Gifts (www.Holyland-Gifts.com). From them, I had purchased a “comfort cross” made of olive wood by Christians living in Bethlehem. I’ve long been concerned about Christians living in the Holy Land (they’re caught in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute) and this seemed a great way to support them. It occurred to me that comfort crosses were just the thing for shut-ins and hospital patients and they have the added benefit of supporting hard-pressed Christians.
This past Tuesday night, January 7, 2014, the Outreach Team approved the purchase of 75 comfort crosses (we received a bulk discount, and paid only $5 per cross). We’ll take up a special offering to help defray the cost and allow you to participate in this ministry.