As the COVID pandemic affected more and more lives, Hope for the City, an outreach launched by Central Christian Church, became a critical conduit for vital food and other supplies to those in need city-wide in the Las Vegas area.
Pastor Jud Wilhite shares that prior to the pandemic, the church was “blown away to realize we were the largest food pantry in our state - and when the pandemic hit, we served more food in the first two weeks than we did last year!” Wilhite credits God for everything Hope for the City has been able to do. “We started pop-up food distribution sites across elementary school parking lots – anybody that would take us.”
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For people who may be discouraged over a job loss or just the pandemic restrictions causing depression, we asked if counseling help is available? “Absolutely! We have started a ministry that has really been powerful for us and I think made a huge difference in the lives of people. It’s called 24 Hour Church.” A person who needs an uplift, prayer or guidance can call or text 1-888-805-2778 day or night to speak with a volunteer. Pastor Wilhite says that number is getting calls from “people all over the world, now.”
As for times ahead, “I definitely feel like we’re in the wilderness, so to speak, spiritually. And you know, God does some of his greatest works in our lives in the wilderness. I think we learn lessons. We face tests. We face outsized obstacles that literally have the power to change our perspective the rest of our lives.” He adds, when the pandemic fades, “I hope we don’t come out the same. And I hope things don’t just go back to normal in our hearts. I hope we’re different in a good way. I hope we’re more mature. I hope we’re more dependent on God. I think a test is often when God takes away something valuable and replaces it with something priceless ... His presence and greater dependence on Him. And I hope that’s the lesson we take forward the rest of our lives.”