T he Cheongso Open Church in Korea gave away homemade hand sanitizer and handmade masks to their neighbors for free to help them prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“When the virus began to spread fast in Korea, it was not easy for people living in a rural area like us to get hand sanitizer and masks,” said church pastor Lee JinSeon. “I thought our church should help overcome this hardship together with our neighbors, rather than just feeling frustrated.”
Church member volunteers gathered for several days to produce 8.8-oz bottles of hand sanitizer. To prohibit any contamination, members were not allowed to take off their masks or talk during work hours, concentrating only on making the sanitizers. On the bottle, they put a label which says, “Hang in there and stay healthy.” About ten church members volunteered to deliver the bottles of sanitizer to 150 households, going door to door.
Also, a couple who serves as deacon and deaconess at the church produced 250 handmade reusable masks, donating them for locals. People who received the gift expressed their gratitude to the church. One recipient stated, “I know that it is a very valuable gift these days. Thank you for your thoughtful sharing.”
It is not the first time for the Cheongso Open Church to reach out to their neighbors; the church has built a good reputation within their community by volunteering, tackling such tasks as cleaning up the village and sharpening people’s kitchen knives.
“It really is a hard time for all of us due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I could also say that the crisis rekindles the spirit of unity and mission among our church members,” said Lee.
In addition to helping people in need, the church is also trying to reach out to those who have not attended church in a while in an effort to maintain a good relationship with the local people, and to foster a strong bond among church members.