SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Pastor Chris Morante of Evangel Church in Scotch Plains says that he has rarely seen any strive cause as much such despair in people as the coronavirus.
The pastor invited Scotch Plains Township officials to his church on Terrill Road to show the relief efforts that he and his small army of volunteers are putting together to help people in need during this coronavirus crisis.
"One of our church members contracted it, and then others in the family caught it. Each a person in family tests positive, it resets the clock and starts another 14 days of quarantine," Pastor Morante explained. "I'm overwhelmed with grief because I can feel their pain. They're questioning their faith. There are thousands living hopelessly and not telling anyone. We haven't weighted the emotional and spiritual side of this (coronavirus pandemic)."
The pastor thought: What if we could bring a "Box of Hope" to everyone who needs it?
"God hasn't forgotten us. We are not alone," he explained. "What are we supposed to do? I opened the Bible and came across the passage in Luke's Gospel: The Feeding of the 5,000 (the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes)."
Evangel packed a box for that family and then began making "Boxes of Hope" for others. The Convoy of Hope sent a tractor trailer of 27,000 lbs. of supplies and 10,000 hygiene kits.
"Our church is so excited. No one else will go without hope," said Pastor Morante, who shared his idea during a phone conference on Thursday with 200 other churches all across the country. His hope is that they can have Boxes of Hope ready to go as the disease spreads across the United States.
."It's a little miracle that's going on here today," Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith told the pastor and his volunteers.
Anyone how needs help can text the word HOPE to (908) 325-5163. A form will pop up that can be filled out with information and returned. Then a Box of Hope will be on the way.
Pastor Morante and Maria Cortes, Director of Missions and Outreach at Evangel Church have a theme for this mission:
"We are ready to spread Hope faster than COVID-19."
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