By Curtis Drever, Director of Missions and Outreach
One of my goals for Irvine Feeds The World (IFTW) is to connect with different social circles and invite them to serve in community with others. If you stop to think about it, this is actually what Jesus did all the time. He gathered people together from different social-economic groups that would never ever associate with each other, let alone serve alongside each other. Jesus’ call to join Him on mission transcended their differences and led them into something bigger, something they would not experience if they stayed within their own social circles. With that, let me share with you a few neat stories of how IFTW is bringing people together.
Last year, a student attending Cal Baptist University, Riverside, heard about our event on KWAVE radio at 6:00 am while driving to school. This year, a different student at Cal Baptist contacted me and asked if she and four other students could serve at IFTW. It turns out they heard about our event from the student who served last year.
Woodbridge High School is just across the street from our campus. Almost every Friday, 250-350 students venture onto our campus en masse for Pizza Friday. I spoke with one of the student body class presidents and made a challenge for him to recruit and bring 40 students to IFTW Student Night in exchange for letting them do a fundraiser for their class during Pizza Friday. (Hey, a little incentive never hurts). SG is also sponsoring gift card giveaways and other surprises to create a fun and festive atmosphere—to build community while serving.
Through my friendship with staff at Jeffery Trail Middle school, Irvine, a group of students and parents are joining us as part of modeling the importance of serving, in community.
Parents, students, and staff from our own Jenny Hart preschool are participating! We are sponsoring a special Jenny Hart night including pizza and bounce houses where families and Jenny Hart staff can hang out and have fun while serving with each other.
Lastly, our church family! Students in high school, junior high, elementary, along with adults from Hopebuilders, Becomers, and Early Birds will all join together. We’ll also have many walk-ins, and hopefully first-time visitors…all serving together.
There are more stories, but that should give you a sense. So, while we are super excited to be assembling 50,000 meals to help feed hungry kids, we are also excited to be bringing all these communities together. We aren’t doing this for recognition, but I think Jesus will be proud of what we’re trying to do in HIS name!
You still have time to be part of this community! IFTW is next weekend, September 27-29. Come join us and help assemble 50,000 meals! If you’ve already signed up, great! If not, we can still take walk-ins at any of the following times:
Saturday, September 28: 10 – 11 am, 11 am – 12 pm, 12 – 1 pm, 1 – 2 pm
Sunday, September 29: 9:45 – 10:45 am, 11 – 12 pm, 12:30 – 1:30 pm
(All sessions held on the Shepherd’s Grove campus in the Fellowship Hall)