By Mark Canady, District Representative, Western
I remember the first time I delivered food/gift boxes as a Village Missionary Pastor in the winter of 1982. Even though we lived in a small community in the mountains of Colorado, it seemed the needs were big. And I learned how small churches meet community needs.
Unexpected Results in Small Churches
I was so amazed at how our little church AND community responded. I believed that our church family would want to give, but I guess I didn’t see further. It turned out, the folks in the community also wanted to help meet the needs of their neighbors and friends. People who would not normally “darken the door of the church” brought food and gifts to provide for families in need.
Originally, I thought that the biggest outreach would be to the families we were helping; in reality, I do not remember any of those original recipients ever attending a church service. However, several of the community folks who brought food and gifts did eventually attend our services, and I am confident that some of them came to faith in Christ.
Thirty-five years later, I have concluded that the reason these folks became a part of our fellowship was that they saw the Church in action. They found it hard to overlook people walking the walk and not just talking the talk! I believe they wanted to know why, and so they came.
Small Churches, Big Outreach
Years later, this outreach is still one of my favorite activities. So, when I recently heard about one of our nearby Village Missions churches preparing to give out food, I asked to be a part of the packing party! The Beaver Community Church family was giving out huge portions of food, including turkeys. This church, with an average attendance in the mid-40s, provided multiple meals to at least 50 families. They helped around 225 people.
Another Village Missions church family wrote that they gave out 80 baskets for Thanksgiving and another 75 would be delivered for Christmas. Rancho Tehama Community Church requested prayer because they have a congregation of around 40 and few workers. Shortly after hearing from these friends, they experienced a shooting at their local school (you likely heard about this on the news) and were called into action again.
Several other Village Missionaries serving small churches were busy on Thanksgiving Day serving at local homeless shelters or having “widows and orphans” in their homes for a meal.
I could not be more proud of these missionaries that serve on the front lines. These men and women invest their lives so they might present the Gospel in rural areas of the United States and Canada.
Village Missionaries preach the Word, love the people AND build the Kingdom!