We were invited by Trinity English Lutheran Church to attend a forum about hunger and poverty. Trinity’s Care Ministries asked us to attend the event in order to share our story of service with the congregation. They believed that our project was a great example and a compliment to the topic being discussed. This opportunity also allowed us to learn about other organizations in our community whose mission is to feed the hungry. This volunteer experience gave us the chance to share, learn, and grow. And that is exactly what we did.
Trinity English Lutheran Church is located in downtown Fort Wayne. The Care Ministries’ mission is to provide opportunities for the members of Trinity’s family to convey and receive Christ’s love, compassion, and presence through various volunteer programs. With Economic hardship striking many of its congregation as well as thousands in our community, they join together, linking hands, ideas, and resources with other community agencies to support those in need. It offers many ministries for which its members can volunteer and each makes a huge impact on the community. Meals with a Mission, Prayer Shawl, Dirty Hands, and the Telecare Ministries are just a few of the options individuals have to choose from. It was obvious from our time with them that their passion and commitment to serving their neighbors was second to none. We were very honored to be able to spend Sunday morning with them.
MaKenna and I arrived at the church and we were greeted so warmly by Janet Altmeyer, Caring Ministries Coordinator for Trinity. I enjoyed spending time with Janet. She truly is a beacon of God’s love and just spending time with her makes you grow. We spent time sharing our story with members of the church. I was very surprised to hear many people, including the other participating agencies, say that they had heard about our project. I was extremely humbled at the comments and reaction we received. It was a great experience for MaKenna since it gave her a chance to talk openly about her experiences with service. She was a great ambassador for Impact 52. Before and after worship, we connected with people, sharing our mission and answering questions. Our newly created brochures were a great tool to spread the word while encouraging others to make the Impact 52 commitment.
We learned a lot about the great work being done by Trinity English Lutheran Church. We were also exposed to a great, national organization who fights poverty and hunger every day. Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, we provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities in which we live. MaKenna and I sat through a forum where we learned about the local chapter of Bread for the World. We also were introduced to the David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World. He shared some unbelievable statistics and stories of poverty. His message was concise and clear that we all can make a difference and we can all help end hunger. It is a worldwide problem that affects so many people and many think that it is a problem that will always exist. Rev. Beckmann thinks otherwise. We have witnessed hunger and poverty firsthand during the first few months of our project. We have seen hundreds of people waiting in line at a food bank, homeless men digging through trash cans, and young children excited to see a sack lunch delivered to their home. Hunger is a real problem that affects our neighbors, our families, and our children. Bread for the World gives the poor a voice in our nation’s capitol. It is a voice that needs to be heard, loud and clear. We learned how we can help magnify this voice. We sent an email to Senator Coats sharing our concerns about cutting the budgets of programs that feed the poor. It was an easy, yet powerful way to make a difference.
Participating in the Bread for the World event at Trinity English was a great experience. We were able to share our story of service while receiving positive feedback and encouragement about our mission. We were also able to learn about Bread for the World and how we can assist the mission to end hunger. The experience allowed us to grow religiously and spiritually while inspiring us to continue our journey. We have been called upon to create change in our community and we believe that we, along with you, can make a difference. In order to do so, we all need to choose to make the difference.