Ministering Outside the Wall of “the church”

If you've been here for any time at all, you have heard me share about both The Church not being a building but the people chasing after Christ as well as The Valley {church} we have been blessed by helping plant here in central AR a little over a year ago.

worship on the slab

The Valley came to this community looking for where God was at working and join Him there. Along with this, we are contentiously choosing to work where others aren't already hard at work. We are here to "build the heard not steel sheep." Because of this, it has been fun finding ways to minister in original and sometimes random ways.

Being the new kids in town, for a year now, we have been fighting to find ways to love on the people her but sometimes shut out because it "wasn't needed". Well, H.E.L.L.O. God is bigger than practicality and also a bigger redeemer than natural disasters.

The most recent storms that hit our town wiped out close to 150 homes and took the lives of at least 9 here in Vtown. We can't believe the doors God is opening through this. Oh, did I mention, God busted out of our "box" via this storm? Yeah, our meeting space was kaboshed giving us an acceptable excuse to love this community in unconventional, non-church-y ways.

Enter childcare and Mom's Night Out stage left:

The Playplace

The morning after the storm, it was evident to me that I wouldn't be able to serve like the rest of the valley church in the way of clean-up or collecting donations and felt useless. THEN another mom suggested maybe we could take turns watching one another children and working in town. YES! I can do that. So the next day I opened my home for childcare to those in our valley families who needed somewhere for their littles to go.

Little did I know that God was birthing this same service opportunity in the heart of an individual at a sister church in Conway. I was contacted about the idea and God birthed it into a huge community blessing. We were allowed to use the local Primary School's "big room" and outdoor playgrounds, restaurants catered for free, and tons of others including Target, Dick's Sporting Goods Store, and out-of-town friends contributed to hundreds of "summer buckets" full of simple toys that were sent home with the children attending the "Playplace".

When school started back the next week and most of our community went back to work, there was no immediate need for this ministry and again I felt helpless as I tried to "get back to normal".

organized school room

Monday I has glanced at my calendar at once coveted plans and realized Mother's Day weekend was coming up and a girl's night where we were all supposed to be going to see the new movie "Mom's Night Out". That seemed to pale in compassion to the current dismal state of Vtown life.

THEN, I realized maybe I could score some tickets for "needy" women from the movie theater. I mean, Target had stepped up and even though this is way outside my comfort zone, I could try.

They could give me 4...

I decided to compose an email to the Allume team contacting a short briefing on who I/the valley was, what had happened to our town, and how I'd learned about the Mom's Night Out movie via their conference back in October.

Tuesday, I sat and cried as I tried to declutter and reorganize our play/school room. All I could think was "we have Too Much Crap!" I wanted to give it away but all those who needed it had no home to put it in. We were created to bring glory to God and sitting sifting through my stuff, I felt like I was doing the furthest thing from glorifying my God.

Taking a break from it all after my poor hubs tried to comfort my inevitable meltdown, I decided to check out during nap by gracing social media and my email. I was never so shocked to find an email from Elizabeth, of Provident Films saying among other things, "Will you please call me at your earliest convenience and we'll discuss next steps." Call? Next Steps!?

Ahhhh!!!!

I am terrible on the phone {AWEkward} but I snatched up my phone and ran outside. Never had a I been more excited to make a fool of myself if it meant I could be of use to this community in its time of trouble. My world was a world-wind from Wednesday until Saturday night but well worth it!

Mom's Night Out

The night turned out to be a huge success! We ended up having a banquet room in a Chinese restaurant with comped buffet, pre-movie pampering, and a therapy room movie theater FULL of healing women. {That will be a post in itself.} Later, I was told by a guy from the valley that he was bragging on me to someone who expressed her gratitude for the much-needed MNO. I was excited to tell him that,

God had it all planned before me so I just had to find where he was working and connect the dots.

I really do believe it is that easy. Find where He is already at work, grab your pen, and get to work on the pieces that He has already given you the tools to connect to accomplish the ultimate goal. I have been so energized by what God has freed up the valley to do here and am loving watching our lil valley family grow closer together all while reaching out to a hurting world!

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