Drifting Alone and Finding Hope
On January 29, 1982, Steven Callahan set sail from the Canary Islands, off the African coast, on a solo journey for the Caribbean. He had no idea it would only be a matter of days till his sailboat hit something in the open ocean one night and, within minutes, slipped under the inky black depths.
He was left with a lifeboat and a collection of survival items grabbed in the brief moments he had to scramble for his life: cooking materials, a few gallons of fresh water, some canned food, a spear gun and fishing gear. He calculated that the things he recovered would be enough to last him the few days it would take to either run across another ship or be discovered through his emergency response beacon. Though he had hope of survival, one thing was overwhelmingly obvious: For the first time in his life he felt utterly and entirely alone. Though just moments before he had been equally without any sailing companions, the loss of a capable vessel made the absolute isolation jump to the forefront of everything he experienced.
Loneliness is the New Smoking
Recent studies have called loneliness the “new smoking,” showing how isolation literally takes years off your life. Few people plan to end up isolated and lonely, yet when it happens, it can be a terrifying experience. That’s why our memory verse this month is Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Though we might feel alone, God is with us, strengthening us, helping us, sustaining us.
VBS is blowing up!
Part of the reason loneliness is so hard on people is because God designed us to be social beings, to live in community, to live out and experience the many “one another” commands of the Bible. One of the ways we are doing that in the coming week at Valley View is through our Vacation Bible School. I’ve got to tell you, the community is beginning to show up in a BIG way.
The VBS team was scrambling yesterday morning to adjust their plans as they are currently tracking to have almost DOUBLE the attendance we had last year. I’ve been asking you to pray for VBS, that many new families would come check out the church. But I wasn’t expecting that kind of answer to prayer! We’re so excited to see what God is going to do next week. Last year we had a few families become part of the church after experiencing the amazing kindness and love of the church during VBS.
Landing in a place of healing
What Steven Callahan thought would be just a few days of loneliness turned into seventy-six days of floating alone across the Atlantic, until he finally drifted to a Caribbean island, his initial destination. Rescued and no longer alone, he spent six weeks recovering in a hospital from the severe skin sores and weight loss (read the full story in his book at the Library). My prayer for Valley View this week is that those who have been floating aimlessly since COVID would find a place of healing and recovery because of their encounter with Christians who truly show the love of Christ to our community. Be praying that God would open doors in the coming week to those all over PRP, Valley Station, and Southwest Louisville, through the ministry of Vacation Bible School!