The Grace of Caring


It has been five years since the time Galina and I joined the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church. Every day we feel blessed and honored to be a part of a vibrant, caring, and growing church. Two messages that came to my attention this morning proved to me that God is at work in this church family.

The first one came from Sarah Penagos. Her mother was in critical condition just a few weeks ago. Many of you agreed to pray for her. Here is her email to our church: ”

“Dear Friends,
Thank you so very much for the lovely flower arrangement and especially for the many prayers lifted to God’s throne for my life. God did indeed save my life! It is wonderful that so many of God’s people lifted my name to God in Nashville, Chattanooga and with our many missionaries all over the world. My husband was mission pastor at our church for over 26 years. What an army of prayer warriors. How great is our God! I am slowly gaining strength. Love to all of you, Diana (and Mick)  Antanaitis, parents of Sarah Penagos”
The second one came by regular mail and was written on a piece of paper. Here it is:


Today is Water Day at OAKS. The weather is just right for joyful outdoor splashing activities. Here are a few photos from this morning.

Lupina Haney shared the following encouraging report from the Season of Change Ministry with me: “Last Thursday we had a wonderful turnout (57) to hear Sharon Williams talk about the ways to help widows in India through “Jesus for Asia.” Our ladies contributed over $2000 last year, and yesterday alone we received $410 in donations. Our project this year is to help build a widows’ school in Odisha, India, where they can come and stay, while they learn a sewing trade to support their families.”

The luncheon theme was Vintage Victorian Lace. On the photo below Sharon Williams discusses the hardships of widowhood in India.

Haney’s hungry hombres are meeting this Sunday! Here is a word from Edymar Penagos: “In addition to a breakfast feast, we will have two guest speakers: our Community Service Director Lucas Patterson and Douglas Na’s with SALT. The focus this month is going to be on the spiritual value of community service. As Pastor Peter put it 3 weeks ago in his sermon, service is worship.

Pastor Matts also made an excellent point in his sermon two weeks ago. He asked the question, how do we, as followers of Christ respond and combated the different types of hate in this world? What is the ammo (if you will) that we as Christians have to “fight” against hate? Well, the answer is simple but difficult at the same time, its love (1 Peter 4:8-9, ).

As you know, the men’s group at Ooltewah has an initiative called Love in Action. This ministry has been a blessing to so many, recipients and volunteers alike. God wanted it this way, each of us serving one another, and the Bible is very clear on how Christians should live. I encourage you to read the following passages and ask God, “Lord, how do you want me to love my neighbor?” Philippians 2: 3-5, Colossians 3: 12-14, John 13:34-35, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.”


HOPE FOR OOLTEWAH. Please don’t forget to sign up for a time slot in our Prayer Marathon which is starting in a few days. Donna Caswell will visit your Sabbath School class with a sign up schedule sheet this Sabbath morning. Miracles happen when we start praying.

Be on the alert. Scammers continue to send text messages and emails to our church members impersonating your pastor. They ask for gift cards. Please never reply to these messages. Your pastors will never contact you by email, text or phone with a request for money or gift cards. These are “evil people and impostors who will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.” (2 Tim 3:13)

FROM MY HEART.  Tuesday night was a night of vigilance and prayer. , The husband of our oldest daughter Anastasia, took her to the AdventHealth hospital in Orlando late at night. Their second baby was eager to see the world! At 6:47am Caspian  triumphant cry (which reached us through a video text message) made us celebrate, cry and laugh! What a miracle! What a wonderful blessing!

One thought on “The Grace of Caring

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