Grace Giving has Great Impact!
Great Opportunities - Great Impact! That sentiment expresses Grace Fellowship’s Monthly Give outreach focus that began in the fall of 2011. At that time we wanted to have a regular focused giving opportunity to meet physical needs of people in our local and regional communities.
This act of serving others through monthly giving has taken on many expressions. Our church family has collected winter coats in support of our regional ministry partner Meridzo Center Ministries in Lynch, KY. We’ve collected used books earning vouchers for Mountain View Elementary, school and hygiene supplies for area ministries like local ministry partner Good Samaritan Ministries, and collected blankets to help the needy stay warm during the winter season.
The generosity of donations from our church family has been exemplary! And the impact great! To better understand the weight of that impact is found in feedback from those on the ground who experience the Monthly Give firsthand.
Each December, Grace Fellowship partners with local ministry Rise Up! in conducting an outreach event called The Giving Depot! The Giving Depot is a day of culmination as about 100 Rise Up! students, who worked hard earning ‘Giving Bucks’ during the previous months, are able to come to a Christmas Store and purchase gifts for their families. They earned ‘giving bucks’ by attending the after-school program, receiving good reports from school, being respectful toward others, doing service projects, and being a positive leader. Our GFC family typically donates over $15,000 worth of gifts to stock that Christmas Store making the event possible.
Sherry Marion, GFC’er and co-director of Rise Up! with her husband Mike, comments – “The Giving Depot event is a one-of-a-kind event. It’s an incredible opportunity for the Rise Up! kids to put into action the principle of "it's not about me!" They get to practically take ownership of maximizing opportunities to do something for their family, reinforcing Jesus’ words - “it is better to give than to receive.” The joy and pride seen in their faces as they get to buy really good gifts for their loved ones is difficult to put into words. It is a very expensive event. But have no doubt and do not underestimate the impact this has on our kids and their families for years to come!”
Several GFC members serve on the Kairos Prison Ministry weekend at the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City. This weekend of ministry happens twice annually and over 3,000 dozen cookies are typically given out and eaten. Our Grace Fellowship family usually donates around 300 dozen homemade cookies to the overall ministry effort. It’s one way the men are shown the ‘overwhelming’ love of Jesus.
God’s love was evident in the lives of many incarcerated men who received ministry during that time, notes GFC member Glenn Rannick. He says, “The cookies are part of the agape love expressed during the recent Kairos Weekend. Here are a couple of comments by residents made during Closing Service about the love of Jesus that are representative:
Tony said, “I won't lie to you .... I came to Kairos this weekend for the cookies and for the food. Man, did Jesus trick me. I came for the cookies and food, but I ended up being filled with the Holy Spirit. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.”
DJ stated, “I am 31 years old and been in prison half my life. I have never experienced love in my life, but I was overwhelmed with love this weekend. People telling me they loved me, strangers baking me cookies and food, a packet of letters, a birthday cake with my name on it (by this time DJ was moved to tears). I am a changed man and going to do my best to follow Jesus.”’
Grace Fellowship’s support of local ministry partner Good Samaritan Ministries is longstanding and multifaceted, as we have supported them through financial giving, donated items, and volunteer service through the years.
Good Samaritan Director Sarah Wells comments on Grace Fellowship’s involvement with their bi-annual Food Drives, a Monthly Give staple, “Good Samaritan Ministries is truly so grateful to all of you at Grace Fellowship. Your partnership expands over the last 19 years. Because of your kindness and dedication, we were able to bless over 160,000 people just last year alone. Twice a year, your members bless our ministry with wonderful food. Just this past week one of my employees came to me and informed me that our shelves were just about empty and I knew that we did not have the money to purchase the needed items. I told her that all we could do was to pray. The next morning the food came pouring in from Grace Fellowship! Thank you for blessing those in need and for giving us hope.”
Yes, these tangible expressions of God’s love through the Monthly Give does make a huge impact on our community, blessing people and glorifying the name of Jesus!
Posted on Wed, May 1, 2013
by Larry Stamm filed under