Hayden Troyer, youth pastor at Brighton Chapel Church in Howe, Ind. (Rustin Krapfl, lead pastor), recently helped organize and lead a team in participating in Day of Hope. Thirteen churches participated in the nation-wide event, initiated by Urban Hope, that was geared towards training churches and enabling them to serve in their own communities.
Hayden said their youth group and church has frequently visited both the Philadelphia and Los Angeles locations of Urban Hope, and when he learned of this new service initiative he was eager to get on board. He reached out to a few people and together they planned how their church would participate in the event.
Sixteen people from Brighton Chapel attended the one-day event. They started their day with a video training supplied by Urban Hope that was led by Tim Lansing and Andy Michael. The training focused on three main areas: Care-Investing Time in Those Around You that focused on Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman and how we can give that same compassion to others, Share-Intentionally Bringing God into The Conversation that focused on how to direct people’s situations to God, and Challenge-Inviting Other to Take The Next Step Towards Jesus that focused on bringing the conversation to the point of decision and transition.
After their training, the group split into two breakout groups. One went to a local laundromat to distribute Tide Pods and start conversations. They used their training of how to “FISH” (be Friendly, Initiate conversation, share your Story, offer Hope) and were able to have meaningful conversations and pray with people. The other stayed at the church to help prepare their new food drive ministry. The church purchased food from Harvest Food Bank in Ft. Wayne, Ind. and the group sorted, bagged, and boxed the items to be handed out later in the day.
The two groups reconvened at the church for a lunch provided by a church member before splitting into two groups again for their afternoon service projects. One went to the home of an older gentleman to assist with yard cleanup from a tornado that passed through the town in June. While planning the event and looking for service projects, a man from their church told Hayden about the yard clean up need, and the group spent two hours removing tree limbs and branches and doing general yard maintenance. The other group stayed at the church to distribute the food that was prepared earlier in the day. They were able to serve about 20 families from their community by providing them with bags of fruits, vegetables, and non-perishable items.
Hayden said this event reminded them of their need to be out serving in their community more often. “How can we go into different nations,” he said, “if we can’t even go out into our own community on a consistent basis and show them the love of Christ?”
[Connect:] Pray for Brighton Chapel as they continue to look for ways to serve their community and send Hayden an encouraging note here.