Jail Prayer Ministry
Every week, members of our congregation go to the Whitley County Jail where they support the recovery and spiritual needs of the inmates by organizing and restocking the jail library and meeting with and gathering prayer requests from the inmates. These prayer requests are shared with the prayer group in the church and lifted up in prayer during the weekly prayer meeting and throughout the week individually by members of the congregation. While we do not pray for any specific outcome in the lives of the local inmates, we do pray for the emotional, spiritual, and other needs of the inmates and their loved ones while their lives are affected by their current situation. We pray that they be strengthened and supported by their community with an opportunity for a future that is healthy and that they may feel the love of Christ in their lives at this difficult time.
You may notice a shopping cart in our sanctuary. Our congregation uses this cart to gather a monthly collection of food and non-perishable items needed by our local food banks to support the needs in our community. Each month throughout the year is designated with a color or specific need, which will be identified in our weekly bulletin. Congregants are encouraged to purchase items that meet this identified category or color to fill our basket.
Matthew 14: 19-20:
19 And He instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He spoke a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, andthe disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
We provide financial support to a select group of missionaries working around the globe to share the love of Christ with the world. Many of these missionaries are people who have been known to our congregation for years. While they are in various locations doing a variety of work such as translating the Bible into languages for the first time, developing new congregations of believers, and supporting the human rights through community projects, we protect their individual identities publicly in order to support their safety for those in particularly restricted areas of the world. We share about their efforts throughout the year and on occasion are blessed with personal visits.
Samaritan’s Purse Shoeboxes
Leading up to the Christmas Season, we take the opportunity to fill multiple “shoe boxes” with a variety of gifts. These are sent by the international relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse, to children in various locations around the globe who experience socio-economic hardships. Often we do not see the faces or know the names of the recipients, but the challenge of filling a shoe box with as many diverse items as possible is a favorite activity shared by those at our church. The shoe box project is an opportunity to meet needs, bring joy, and share the love and for some the first time knowledge of Jesus Christ to young hearts and minds around the globe. While we are small church settled among the fields of Indiana, our hearts reach to those around the world. Samaritan’s Purse delivers shoe boxes packed with gifts to young people throughout 100 countries.
Each year, local and state and national non-profits are hand selected to receive monetary donations, as well as, collections for needed items gathered by our church. The list is rotating in order to share our support with as many projects and efforts as we are able. Some of the previous recipients have included the local free medical clinic and shelter for women and children.
One of the ways we support the shipping costs to get our shoe boxes to children is through an annual fundraiser at the Veterans Marathon, which occurs every year in November around Veterans Day in Columbia City, Indiana. This marathon brings runners, young and old, to our small town to run in honor of the Veterans who have served our nation. Our congregation greets the runners at the end of their race with a variety of homemade hot soups in the spirit of congratulations and gratitude.