For one of their Mission to the City projects, members of Walnut Creek South hosted a Memorial Day barbeque for the men living at Door of Faith, a Christ-centered, long-term life-recovery center for men.
“Sometimes the hardest times are the holidays,” said John Teeter of Walnut Creek South, who previously lived at Door of Faith for 10 months. “We thought it would be nice to have a barbeque for them. We brought the whole crew so we could mull about and talk to the guys – like they’re at a barbeque with a bunch of friends.”
Teeter and the rest of the crew from Walnut Creek South grilled pork chops and brats and served potato salad, baked beans and dessert. “Everything was homemade,” Teeter said. “Guys in group homes tend to get a lot of canned and processed foods.”
According to Teeter, the men they served were very appreciative. He said they heard a lot of sincere thank yous, and several of the men stayed to help them clean up afterward.
“The thing that Door of Faith offers that very few others do, they give you a year, they pay for your food, clothing, room and board. They won’t kick you out after you’ve graduated until you have a job and a place to live,” Teeter said. “They give you a year. If you use that year to seek God and get involved in a church, your success rate is extremely high.”
Partnering with organizations like Door to Faith to serve people of Des Moines is what Mission to the City is all about.
|Mission to the City volunteers pack meals for Meals from the Heartland. Photo by Stephanie Brandstatt.|
The work of Mission to the City reaches beyond Des Moines – as far South Africa, Haiti, and the Philippines. Mission to the City groups from Walnut Creek Windsor Heights teamed up with Meals from the Heartland to pack meals that will be sent to those three countries.
“We packed 20,000 meals just this morning,” said Joel O’Dell, hunger fight manager for Meals from the Heartland. “The need is great. One in six people in the world is starving. It’s biblical to help them – we’re called to take care of our neighbors.”
Brigitte Haugen of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights said the experience was very eye-opening for her. “There are a lot of people who need food,” she said. “I’m thankful we can be part of this because it demonstrates how much we as a church care about people.”
Jon Touchette, also of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights, said he was impressed by the efficiency of Meals from the Heartland’s system, which allowed them to pack the most meals possible in the time they were there. He added that feeding the hungry is really about following Jesus’ example. “Jesus did what he taught,” he said. “It’s important to live the gospel – not just speak the gospel.”
Come and get all-you-can-eat pancakes at Walnut Creek Downtown on Sunday, May 25, from noon to 1:30 p.m. The pancake brunch is one of the many activities happening at Walnut Creek Church this weekend as part of Mission to the City.
The proceeds from the pancake brunch will go to support Operation Christmas Child and Walnut Creek's annual Christmas in July party on July 18. This year's Christmas in July party will be bigger than ever because it will be a "special access" packing party.
Shoe box gifts packed at a special access party are sent to countries that are especially spiritually dark and resistant to Operation Christmas Child's efforts. Agreeing to host a special access party means committing to pack 1,000 boxes and raise $7,000.
"It's a huge honor to be asked by Operation Christmas Child to consider hosting a special access party," said Sarah Johnson of Walnut Creek Downtown and one of the event's organizers. "It's a big goal, but I'm confident in our ability to come together as a church to support this great cause."
Last year, Operation Christmas Child had requests for approximately 400,000 shoe box gifts from special access countries, and nearly 300,000 were collected. This year, the number of requests has grown to 500,000.
For $5 per plate, you can help Operation Christmas Child meet those 500,000 requests — and fill yourself with delicious pancakes.
|A worship and prayer night marks the start of this year's Mission to the City, May 23-26.|
Walnut Creek Church’s fourth annual Mission to the City kicked off Thursday evening with a worship and prayer night. During the four-day long event, church members will serve the city with thousands of hours of community service and reach out to many with the Gospel – or, as the name implies, take a mission trip to Des Moines.
Nearly 500 people are participating in Mission to the City this year. For the first time, all Walnut Creek congregations are holding Mission to the City over Memorial Day weekend.
During the worship and prayer night, Pastor Dan Rude shared two principles that have motivated the church to do Mission to the City each year.
- Christians are to be the light. “Mission to the City is all about being a light to the city,” Pastor Dan said. “It’s our identity as Christians, and this is an intentional time we set aside to serve Des Moines.”
- The good news about Christ is too good to keep to ourselves. “There will be opportunities to share your faith,” he said.
Pastor Dan also shared the five key things we do during Mission to the City:
- Serve other churches
- Serve ministries
- Serve organizations
- Serve the city of Des Moines
- Serve people
Join the Conversation
Join the Mission to the City conversation by posting on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and using the hashtag #m2tc. For a live look at the Mission to the City activities happening around the Des Moines metro right now, go to walnutcreekchurch.org/m2tc.
During weekend services on April 26 and 27, Walnut Creek Church officially announced the launch of the new Walnut Creek Church mobile app.
The app contains several resources, including weekly sermon videos, upcoming events, service times and locations, posts from this blog and more.
"One of the goals of the app is to help people stay connected," Pastor Luke Hukee said. "For example, if you miss a message, you can catch up on the app while driving in the car. Not only is the message available, but so are the notes for the sermon."
But that's not all the app is for. "Ultimately, we want to reach more people with the Gospel." Hukee said. "Young people in particular are on their mobile device using apps all the time. This is another way to put Gospel-centered content into the hands of more and more people."
For more information and to download the free app, click here.
Also, be sure to check out our 30 second ad featuring the new app.
By Tim Laehn
Walnut Creek Downtown