Medicine Sent to the Nuba Mountain Region in Sudan

Idris from the Nuba Mountain region presented about the genocide in Sudan during Mission to the City. 

When Nolan Scott went to a leader of the Nuba community and asked how Walnut Creek could help them during Mission to the City, their response was a little surprising. They did not need help–no food, shelter, or jobs. They wanted Nolan to help their people in the Nuba Mountain region.

Daily bombings force many to flee and seek refuge in the Nuba Mountain area of Sudan, where there is little food and water. It is estimated that more than 500,000 people have died, and even more are still trapped, unable to escape. Humanitarian aid and journalists are banned from the area.

While most of the Nubas in Des Moines fled from Sudan over five years ago, they have not forgotten their family and loved ones there.

"During college we met many refugees from Sudan who worked in the Drake cafeteria, and we became good friends with them upon our graduation. Before meeting our Sudanese friends, many of whom are refugees from the Nuba Mountains, we didn't know much about the situation," said Rebecca Scott, Nolan's wife.

After praying about a way to help the Nuba people, Nolan and Rebecca knew they wanted to send aid. They ordered blue wristbands that said, "Pray for Nuba, Proverbs 24:11-12," and people were given an opportunity to help by purchasing wristbands for $5 each at the Walnut Creek Windsor Heights services on Sunday, May 18.

On Sunday of Mission to the City, eight Sudanese paired up with 25 Walnut Creek members to canvas to local neighborhoods asking people to help in one of three ways:
1. Support the cause by purchasing a bracelet, or donating money
2. Signing a petition (
3. Giving a voice to the situation

They also invited people to an event held at the Windsor Heights location that same evening where Idris, a man from the Nuba Mountains, shared about the situation and answered questions. Each of the nine Sudanese present at the event had lost family and friends in the genocide.

Many people were more than generous, and the Scotts raised $2,720 to purchase medicine, over $200 more than they had prayed for. The medicine will come from Kenya and be driven to Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains through an organization called the Persecution Project.

"Looking through the New Testament we see Jesus drawn to compassion, and then move. Whether it is giving food to the hungry or healing the sick, He gets involved," said Rebecca. "These are real people made in the image and likeness of God that are in danger on a daily basis."

By Jackie Wallentin
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights

Central City Soccer Kicks Off Season

Over 460 kids are participating in Central City Soccer this summer. 

Donning their signature pink shirts, Central City Soccer coaches begin setting up goals and painting lines on the grass every Saturday at 7 a.m. In a few hours over 460 kids and their families will arrive.

Central City Soccer, an inner-city soccer league, began its 10th season the first week of June. The league is completely directed and run by about 100 Epicenter students from Drake, Grandview, DMACC and AIB. Epicenter is a summer leadership program for college students.

Coaches plan and run practices, attend and referee games, and set up and tear down the goals and fields. Members of a Windsor Heights Community Group also help coach. This summer, Central City has over 30 teams with kids ranging from 1st grade to high school.

The league promotes character and self-esteem in every child and many opportunities for both personal and athletic success. But more than that, these families hear about the love of Christ through this faith-based league.

"Central City is unique because it provides an opportunity for lower income families to get their kids involved in sports when they might not otherwise be able to play," said Tiffany McCarthy of the Central City Soccer staff. "I've heard some of the parents say that our league is like a 'family' because we care about their kids just for who they are."

With the number of registered kids increasing every year, Central City added a second league this summer at Lovejoy Elementary on the Southside of Des Moines.

McCarthy said as a league they are praying for players and their families to attend games regularly, and for the players to love talking and hearing about Jesus.

Games run through August 2, with the awards banquet as the season finale on August 3.

By Jackie Wallentin
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights 

Summer is Volleyball Season at Jordan Park Camp

Teams play on four nights throughout the week at Jordan Park Camp. 

Competition is heating up at Jordan Park Camp as 92 teams get their feet in the sand for the summer volleyball league.

The Jordan Park Volleyball League began June 2 and will run through August 8, with over 500 people streaming in and out of the camp Monday through Thursday for games. The league added a fourth night of games this year and a new middle division to allow for more evenly matched play on the court.

A weekly opportunity to invite coworkers and friends to, the league brings new people into fellowship and provides a fun way to meet more people. The unity of teams extends beyond the courts, too. Many teams grill out after their games and spend time sharpening their bump, set, spike skills outside their regular game nights.

"I pray that relationships within current community groups would grow and mature as people play together for one purpose and also that friends and coworkers would come and see what fellowship looks like outside of the workplace," said Amelia Gibson of the Jordan Park Volleyball staff.

Along with Gibson, other Jordan Park Volleyball staff members include Kaden Bronzynski, Adam Nordaker and Josh Smith.

Mark your calendars for the annual hog roast and tournament on Friday, August 8 to end the summer volleyball season.

By Jackie Wallentin
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights 

Party in the Park Serves Windsor Heights Community

More than 450 people gathered at Colby Park on Friday, May 30 for Party in the Park. 
Walnut Creek Church hosted a Party in the Park on May 30 to celebrate the end of Mission to the City. During the weekend mission, hundreds of fliers were passed out for the evening of fun, which was an opportunity to bless the Windsor Heights community.

Throughout the night, which was held at Colby Park, over 450 people came to enjoy free food, an outdoor movie, lawn games, face painting and a castle-themed bouncy house.

To end the night, friends and families gathered on blankets to watch Disney's newest animated hit "Frozen," while the kids sang along to their favorite songs from the movie.

"Our neighbors came and it was fun introducing them to our closest friends. It was a great way for us to invite our neighbors without pressure," said Sam Karaidos of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights. "It was just a relaxing evening with great people and great food."

By Jackie Wallentin
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights

Local Artists Featured at Arts in the Village

Music artists Jenny & Tyler perform while artist William Butler completes a live painting.

Hundreds of people from Walnut Creek Church and the Des Moines community experienced an evening of art, music and fellowship during Arts in the Village on May 30. The event, which was free and open to the public, featured music from special guests Jenny & Tyler, live art from William Butler and displays from several local artists.

“I liked the diversity of people who came,” said Sara Burrier, a Des Moines illustrator whose work was featured at the event. “I also liked the concept of it being an outreach event and that it was about Christ. It made it easy to talk about my art because it relates to Christ.”

In addition to Burrier, other featured artists included Candace Camling, Bryan Coons, Austin Day, Graham Gardner, Nic McDougal, Mhuka Designs (Ginger Meadows), Tia Rodemeyer and Amy Wood Thomas.

By Tim Laehn
Walnut Creek Downtown

Des Moines Resident Blessed by Mission to the City

Mission to the City volunteers get ready to repair a garage for a Des Moines resident.

Every year, Walnut Creek Church hosts Mission to the City in an effort to bless people, organizations and other churches throughout Des Moines. The below email from a Des Moines resident who was blessed through this year's Mission to the City, May 22-26, is a good example of what the five-day mission trip to Des Moines is all about.

Praise the Lord!

Yesterday a total of four men worked on repairing (really replacing) the front of our garage. I met two of them at Menards at 7:30 am to get materials and we were at our home at about 9. They removed the old trim, well worn out siding and metal edges on the front of the garage. They left and took the old removed material to unload it. They returned that afternoon to reside the garage.

Today a crew is coming to do painting, caulking, garage repair, windows on the house, the soffit and trim by the gutters on the roof. A sincere thank you to Caleb Thompson who organized this project for us and the men who worked at our home. Two of their wives brought some pizza and their kids to see how it was going.

By Tim Laehn
Walnut Creek Downtown