|A Downtown Community Group passed out over 3,000 tracts, 2,000 water bottles, and 1,000 sunglasses this summer at the Valley Junction Farmers Market.|
Every Thursday night, Greg Baker’s Downtown Community Group could be found at the Valley Junction Farmers Market. Partnering with the city of West Des Moines and the Valley Junction Foundation, the group volunteered by picking up trash in exchange for a booth. This summer marks the third year they have volunteered.
Throughout the summer, they gave out over 3,000 Gospel tracts, 2,000 bottles of water, and 1,000 Walnut Creek sunglasses, in addition to Bibles and invitations to church. The booth space allowed the group to form relationships with people at the market, West Des Moines officials, and fellow vendors.
Their prayer throughout the summer was to see the Gospel sown and people reached. God answered their prayers. One of their first weeks, they met Marci, who had just moved to Des Moines with her son. The group was then able to help her son move into Des Moines University and introduce them to Walnut Creek Downtown.
The group also reconnected with Stephen, a young man who they had met and shared the Gospel with a few years earlier. “It turned out one year later he was saved. He is only 16 but well read in the Bible and has a heart to reach the lost,” Greg said. “For the last two weeks at the market, Steven joined us at our booth and went out sharing the Gospel with us.”
Whenever the group had enough volunteers to clean up with trash and be at the booth, people would then go out into the crowd and engage in conversations about Jesus. “The Gospel was sown with many soft hearts this summer,” Greg said.
Prayers for favor with the city were also answered. Each week different city officials and volunteers would thank them and show appreciation for their work. Greg says they initially planned to work the market through July, but with so much fruit seen and so many relationships formed, they have extended their time to August and possibly September.
“We will continue to clean up trash, and sow and water God's Word. We look forward to seeing what God makes grow,” Greg said.
By Jackie Wallentin and Greg Baker
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights and Downtown