Let’s Give it All Away!
By Kate Berkey - November 17, 2016
Posted in Partnerships, Stories from NMC, Let's Give It All Away
It comes once a year. As the temperature starts to drop and the ground starts to freeze, we gear up for something much bigger than ourselves. We think through our best gift and pass offering plates. We hear the stories of local, regional and global ministries who are on the frontlines. And we give, generously.
Generosity is a long-standing tradition at NMC. In our history, there have been men and women who have given all they have to this ministry, entrusting our leaders with gifts so beautiful and sacred that they don’t feel worthy to receive them. These men and women gave until it hurt and then gave a little more.
On Let’s Give it All Away! Sunday, the entire church is invited to the altar, to a place of sacrifice. They are invited to give until it hurts and then give a little more. This isn’t an invitation to pour into NMC’s ministry but rather to pour into the work of like-minded ministries. It’s an invitation to further the cause of the kingdom, to support people and organizations who are pouring time, energy, life and resources into the communities they serve.
Let’s Give it All Away! is a part of our DNA at NMC; it is a vibrant, dynamic, growing part of who we are as a Body. On this Sunday each year, every gift that isn’t otherwise designated for another ministry goes straight to some of our partners.
This year, our offering will be split in two. Part of our gift will go to area food pantries. After doing careful research and talking with people and organizations in each community, NMC’s leaders have created a list of over 25 food pantries that serve and love their communities well. Some of these names are recognizable like “Salvation Army.” Some might be less familiar. Organizations like “Harvest with a Heart” serve small communities in huge ways. Each of these organizations seeks to feed the hungry in body and in spirit and to point people to Christ.
Last year, we highlighted three of our food pantry partners on our blog. To learn more about them, click here.
The other part of our Let’s Give it All Away! offering will go toward Transformation Ministries in South Bend. Seven years ago, Kory and Ali Lantz packed up their lives and moved into the Near Northwest Neighborhood. Believing the Lord was calling them to the dark and dangerous places of this world, they gave up their place of privilege and security and began to make this new neighborhood home.
The darkness is indeed all around them and their team. They realized this darkness about a year ago when six shootings took place in a 2-month period, one of which happened right outside their home. They realized this darkness when a gun was found in their backyard. They realized this darkness when they discovered that their new next-door neighbor was a gang leader.
And yet they carry on. They live and work and raise their two daughters in the same community where Transformation Ministries’ kids are being raised. Despite the threat of danger, they are confident that this neighborhood is still where the Lord has called them to be. It’s not easy, but each day, they wake up and pray for a little more courage than fear.
Over the last seven years, God has allowed them to see some of the fruit of their work. Not every story is one of success, but every story includes seeds planted by Kory and Ali and the team of staff and mentors who walk alongside these students.
One student, Heaven, has been involved in ISI for three years. Over these three years, she has discovered what it means to take ownership of her relationship with Christ. She wakes up each morning and understands that she is called to show the love of Christ to others. Through mentorship and discipleship, she has grown into a young woman who is seeking after the Lord with all of her heart.
And that’s the heartbeat of Transformation Ministries. They exist to walk alongside the youth of South Bend and show them the hope, love and life found in Christ. In this world full of loud and damaging voices, they exist to proclaim the truth of Christ.
Recently, Transformation purchased some storefront buildings in their neighborhood on Portage Avenue that are perfectly positioned to aggressively expand their ministry. Not only is the space larger, but it also will provide more effective ways for ministry to happen. It will be a place for the kids to come and find safety and a place that is home. It will be a place for Transformation leadership to cast vision and work on the day-to-day operations. As a part of Let’s Give it All Away! Sunday, we are partnering with Transformation Ministries to help provide the funds needed to remodel this space.
God is doing incredible things in our world. He’s doing them on a global scale, on a regional scale and on a local scale. We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to join Him in the work He is doing through Let’s Give it All Away!
Take a step…
- Plan to give: You can give in service this Sunday, November 20, or online any time. Visit nmc.church and click “give.” Just designate your gift toward LET’S GIVE IT ALL AWAY!
- Contact a food pantry in your area: Find out how you can give of your time, talent and resources to help feed the hungry in your community.
- Partner with Transformation Ministries: This spring, we anticipate sending 1-3 day work teams to make the 31-mile journey and assist in the remodel of their newly purchased building. Would you consider making the journey with us to walk alongside this ministry and help remodel this space? Would you join us in praying for Transformation Ministries as these changes impact their ministry?