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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TAKE THE CITY outreaches have been so special to me. I love being able to see the hand of GOD move in peoples lives as they are healed and families restored. GOD cares about every detail of our lives and he reaches the places that only HE can only heal! Its been an honor to see all the teams go out and share the LOVE that GOD has instilled and filled the teams with, and let it pour out to all the community. Having physical needs met also assures all we encounter, the faithfulness of our Father. So many times I have cried seeing what GOD is doing… Being able to see people brought into the KINGDOM and freedom Spirit, Soul, Mind and Body. Is the greatest treasure in my life. I am grateful for TAKE THE CITY allowing me to have front seat and seeing GOD move in peoples lives!