As Pastor Chuck and Jeanne Hasty sit across the table, their eyes light up as their minds turn to the neighborhood kids who have become an extension of their church. Grace Presbyterian ECO is known for its generosity and servants’ heart and longtime friends Andrew & Ellen Chalmers knew they’d be a perfect fit in coming alongside the Bradley Circle Project Lifehouse. “We wanted to partner with and build relationship and join God in what He’s already doing – not to necessarily recreate anything,” Jeanne explained.
It didn’t take long for the church to find their place… or more accurately, places, and became very intentional about picking up kids in the neighborhood and bringing them to church. After-school tutoring showed itself as a need and the church responded with Tutoring Tuesdays. People with expertise in a certain subject began to join in. Rides are provided if necessary for the students, as well as snacks and even school supplies. The church discovered there were a lot of gardeners among the congregation and soon partnered with the neighborhood garden. MercyMed also joined in as consultants/advisors for the garden.
Now that the kids are older, the Hastys’ pick them up for church youth group. The relationships that have developed over the past few years is evident. In the middle of a conversation with Pastor Chuck, a teenager let out, “I prayed for someone to be a father in my life and that’s how I think of you!”
During the holiday season, the kids have helped to provide 30-40 baskets at Thanksgiving and 24 at Christmas. They’ve also organized a coat drive that schools and other churches participated in. Her eyes still lit up, Jeanne smiled and said, “We want to go deep, and we want to stay long.” You have, Grace Presbyterian ECO, you have.
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Even with only 2 Take the City Outreaches under my belt, they have made such an impact in my own personal journey of faith, and others I have crossed paths with! The most special part to me is knowing that even if I meet someone and I never see them again, I know God has allowed me to touch their heart and plant a seed that I couldn’t have done sitting at home. I’m so thankful for this organization because it truly has allowed me to connect with others, with the goal of bringing them closer to Christ, while becoming closer with God myself at the same time.