Compassion Inspires

In the early morning hours once a month, as a truckload of Feed the Valley food pallets is unloaded, a neighborhood begins to emerge to help pack and distribute 150 food boxes. They greet Cody and Lilly Wing, the neighborhood’s missionaries through Take the City’s Project Lifehouse– strategically placed homes that reach the neighborhood community for Christ.

A few years earlier, Steve & Kristen Bedsole discovered during COVID that food drives would be beneficial for the neighborhood. A local church, the Verge, with Pastor Chuck Odum, was inspired to come alongside and help. That’s when the Wings came on the scene.

As time passed, the Wings realized that the neighbors desired a true community– they were already holding block parties, for instance– but weren’t clear on the next thing to do to make it a reality, until the monthly food drives inspired them. “We found the heart of the neighborhood, which was not just come, get, go,” Cody said. “When they saw we were committed, they began to not only pick up a box, but began to help to distribute them and set up/tear down. They started serving each other.” 

“Every month as we get together,” Lilly shared, “we pick one word we want to speak over our neighborhood and pray into that. They’re always ready to pray over what they want to see decrease and what needs to increase.” The sense of community addresses intangibles like loneliness and hopelessness and tangibly lifts the spirits of everyone involved. 

People are also drawn to the Wings’ Lifehouse and frequently visit. One adolescent boy came onto the porch, just because “it feels comfortable and makes me feel safe.” Since then, he has started to hang out with Cody, helping him with projects.“Forging relationships are the key in trying to build community,” Cody reflected.

Even those still trapped in addiction come around and help every month, explaining, “Y’all are good people and are doing good things.” “Ultimately,” said Lilly, with Cody nodding in agreement, “we show them the One True good thing.” 

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TTC led me out of darkness and into the love I’ve longed for my entire life, the love of JESUS.  They’ve taught me to love like Jesus by walking out my created purpose.  My Spirit has been healed, I am whole, because of their obedience to do God’s will.  They have introduced me to and welcomed me into a powerful tribe of women that love Jesus with their whole heart.  Women that strengthen, teach, support, and encourage one another with the power and authority given by the Holy Spirit.  I am eternally grateful for their ministry and humbled to be called family.

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