>> Saturday, May 4, 2013
Forty-three churches partnered together to take God's love to our communities today. It's called Love Cedar Valley and is led by Laura Hoy, Orchard's staff person who leads our partnership with Walnut Neighborhood in East Waterloo.
Orchard volunteers gave leadership to several of the projects including handing out lunches at the four corners of Lincoln Park in downtown Waterloo. I stopped by there at noon and they had what appeared to be 40-50 people cooking hotdogs, putting lunches together and then 5-6 people handing out lunches at each of the four corners. One group of these volunteers comes to this outreach from Drug Court. I had one of the lunches--they were delicious!
I also helped for 3 hours at a new outreach house that has been purchased by Mike and Laura Hoy on Almond Street. A dozen volunteers in 3 hours made amazing progress by clearing this home of it's contents, cleaning, ripping up all of the carpeting and trimming trees. It is so good for a neighborhood to have houses transformed, one house at a time. This will provide a powerful opportunity for being a good neighbor in many ways.
Hundreds of volunteers, a nice morning, good worship, lots of energy and the Spirit of God at work--what could be better. My prayer is that God will use this effort in the hearts of those who are on the receiving end of these kindnesses and that God will use this effort in the hearts of those who have been on the giving end of these kindnesses.
Congratulations to Mark and Haley Iehl, who were Orchard's point leaders for this event. Good Job! Thanks to the many volunteers that work this week and today to make this event such a success.
I was really inspired by the closing worship at Love Cedar Valley. A worship band with participants representing 6 different churches led in worship. The prayers and the video touched my heart. It ended with a challenge to say to God....."Here am I to serve you!" Powerful.