When the church acquired The Lodge, their retreat center in Syracuse, Ind., they began praying and dreaming of what to do with the space. The church had several mechanics in the congregation and each summer they hosted a free oil change event. They had the idea to use one of the buildings for a car care ministry and began planning. The congregation prayed for the ministry and several members stepped forward to help.
Care and Connections Pastor Mike Sillliman said, “It was very clear that God was opening the door for this to take place.” One member of the church financially donated toward a car lift. Garage owner Brent Hochstetler offered to lead the ministry. Another member who owns a tool company outfitted the ministry with all the tools needed.
The car care ministry is open one Saturday a month to all community members, not just church attenders. They want to bless widows, widowers, and people who have fallen on hard times. Participants fill out an application and the scheduler, a former mechanic, does a phone diagnosis and sets an appointment.
All of the labor is free and provided by volunteers from the church. Participants are asked to pay for the necessary parts. Mike said, “It’s a way the men and women of our church who like to work on cars can use their gifts and abilities to serve the community.”
This story first appeared in the GraceConnect eNews and GraceConnect magazine.