Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven; the investment of time, talent and effort by many certainly brought forth the blessings to Barrow Ward, Cumbria.
Barrow Ward members had worked hard for many weeks, sewing and embroidering table cloths and ‘scrapbooking’ (i.e. arranging personal and family history in the form of a book).
The Elders Quorum President meticulously prepared and edited an hour-long video about the history and building of the Barrow chapel, as well as designed promotional posters and flyers. Some members and missionaries were in the Chapel almost every day in the week prior to the Open House, clearing out cupboards, cleaning and tidying. The grounds were swept and cleaned, trees & shrubbery pruned, windows cleaned, and flowers arranged. Invitations and flyers were hand delivered to all the local schools. Hundreds of flyers and posters were distributed. And, through their joint efforts Ward members became better bonded.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Barrow attended the first day of the Open House and were impressed. The Family History Centre received visitors; some said they would be back.
Members from other wards in the Stake attended, as well as local less-active members with non-member children, who are now waiting to be baptized.
The Open House peaked with the Ward Conference. The congregation, double its usual number, heard spiritually uplifting talks and a wonderful musical presentation given by the Ward brethren and sister missionaries. The Relief Society President served delicious homemade soups at the ‘Munch & Mingle’ on that Sunday. She also found time that same day to minister to others, visiting a member in hospital, as well as welcoming her new great grandson into the world.
Miracles are happening in the Ward, besides the Young Women baptisms. The number of young men and women attending Church on a regular basis has doubled. An elderly 87-year old sister, less active due to poor health grounds) started paying her tithing again.
Members of the Barrow Ward continue to minister diligently. A recently baptised member ministers daily to those in need, including helping small children to read in a local school and helping out at the Society for the Blind. Another brother tirelessly gives lifts to those who need help with transport to meetings, members and non-members alike, some who are a three-hour drive away.