Youngstown pastor reflects on challenges of 2020 while looking toward new year

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As we embrace day one of the year 2021, we look back at a year that presented many challenges

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The year 2020 was one that will stick with many for a while, but there are some positive takeaways from this challenging year.

As we embrace day one of the year 2021, we look back at a year that presented many challenges, changes and emotions. From the tragedy of the late Kobe Bryant to protests against racial injustices and, of course, an unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you survived 2020, man, I ‘m thinking you are going to have an amazing 2021, but that is just me being optimistic,” said Pastor Mark T. Jackson. “It’s just been a transitional year. It’s been a challenging year for a lot of people.”

Jackson is the lead pastor at The Light Church in Youngstown. You may recognize him because this year he and members of the church gave away gas, groceries and spread love to the people of Youngstown.

“Being a one-year-old church, it was a challenge, but many people said they appreciated that we helped them in a time of need,” Jackson said.

Although this year came with its share of challenges, Jackson insists there were also some positives.

“It gave you a lot of time to really consider who you were, set some goals. Entrepreneurs had to turn it up a notch. I believe even though we were separated, this was the year we were probably the most united,” Jackson said.

In some ways, life in 2020 was the same but in many others, it was oh so much different. But as we begin a new year, it’s important to have a positive outlook on what we hope to come.

“I’m a pastor, so I believe God is still in control and he will heal our land. I believe it will be a good year,” Jackson said.

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