|Volunteers filled over 340 handwritten Christmas cards with Gospel tracts and restaurant gift cards for the Christmas Card Outreach tomorrow at Walnut Creek Downtown.|
"I went through a time in my life when I didn't have money for food or to pay the bills," said Erin Youngblood. "A person who knew the Lord reached out and shared Christ with me, took me to church, then she and the church began helping to meet my needs. The Lord became my provider and has shown me that He will always be my provider."
In 2012, Erin and a group of her friends were brainstorming ideas about how to reach the city of Des Moines with the Gospel. She wanted to help people just like she had been helped when she needed it the most. Their idea: Christmas Card Outreach.
For the last two years, the group has visited homeless camps, bus stops, and other places around the city to pass out their handwritten Christmas cards. Each card included a gift card to a local restaurant for a warm meal and a Gospel tract explaining God's incredible gift to them, allowing the group to talk with people and pray for them.
This year, instead of going out into the city, Erin wants to welcome the homeless and anyone in need into Walnut Creek Church. Erin has partnered with The Thankful Leper, a non-denominational ministry of former homeless helping others out of homelessness, to help bring people in.
On Sunday, December 14, Walnut Creek Downtown will host a roundup at 2 p.m. to celebrate Christmas and hand out a generous gift to each person in need who attends. Erin says anyone is welcome to attend the roundup to help love and meet the community members who come.
For the month of December, Erin collected cold weather gear and monetary donations from Walnut Creek members to purchase restaurant gift cards and other cold weather items.
"I have seen the Lord in this ministry from the beginning," said Erin. "Every year we have grown bigger and bigger, and I have seen how God is changing lives. He will get the glory!"
Join us in prayer as we work to meet tangible needs and share the hope of Christ in our community:
- That the Lord would bring in people with soft hearts and ears to hear. That seeds would be planted and that people will come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- That the people who come would feel welcomed into the church, and that we would come together as a church to show them a love that can only come from Christ.
- That enough funds would be raised so we can hand a generous gift to each person in need that comes to the event.
For more information about helping with the Christmas Card Outreach, contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jackie Wallentin
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights