How did you get connected to Hand2Hand?
VictoryPoint was approached by H2H about partnering with Great Lakes Elementary because that’s the school that we do Kids Hope mentoring at. VictoryPoint was starting Missional Communities (MC) and it just made sense for one of them to focus on Great Lakes Elementary as their mission focus. I was part of that missional community and a few of us attended a H2H meeting to get more information about how to start a program.
Fellowship Reformed Church was instrumental in helping us get started. They had a vision to see H2H in every West Ottawa School. When they first approached us we held off. But when the new (current) principal started at Great Lakes, he was definitely a person of peace to the program, so when asked again we were much more open to it. Yet, we were a bit hesitant to commit – wondering if we could pull it off knowing there would probably be a LOT of kids and families that would participate in the program. So it still took us a good year to finally officially say “yes” and begin.
We’ve learned since it’s not so much what we “think” we can do, but what God can and wants to do!
What caused your group to get involved?
When we began to hear the stats of how many kids and families potentially go hungry or have less on the weekends because the school breakfasts and lunches aren’t available on the weekend, in the school we LOVE, it eventually became a no brainer.
We can’t say our vision is to bring the Kingdom of God to our family, our COMMUNITY and the world and ignore the need in the school we have a long and strong relationship with. Plus, most importantly and simply, we felt God saying to step into this and trust him, so do we obey Him or not. Gratefully, we obeyed!
What are some “cool moments” that have happened?
We love the way an undertaking like this allows an entire Missional Community to all feel part of something bigger all together, with EVERYONE participating. On the nights we pack bags together, everyone is doing something. Love seeing the children standing on the table dropping food in bags with big smiles on their faces. The “mission” fosters community.
One of the big “fruits” of this program has been how it has deepened our relationship with the Great Lakes staff even beyond what we were experiencing with Kid’s Hope. I think the teachers genuinely view us as partners, as a community that cares about not just the needy kids, but them as a staff. It has led to our MC being invited into helping with other school events (baked goods for the fall carnival; helping with the spring color run, how it led one spring to helping clear a garden area).
What would you say to a church considering connecting to Hand2hand?
Jesus fed hungry people. Even when there wasn’t enough to pull it off, God provided. If we say we want to be like Jesus and do the kind of things He did, this is a simple way to start – feed hungry children, trust in His provision and multiplication.
H2H is a simple concept, well organized and led, providing all kinds of help and resources, and is a well-respected organization in the community. If you’re looking for a way to bless the community, this one is very much worth considering.
And there’s always the consideration… why wouldn’t you?