grace || tucson, az
Kingdom Workers Volunteers: Bill & Joyce Beglinger, Doug & Kathy Hanneman
The Experience Begins (March 14 and 15):
Our team was been blessed with good weather for canvassing homes in Vail, AZ, a suburban area southeast of Tucson. During our first two days, we reached close to 1,500 homes with help from our gracious hosts, Ron and Kathy Silver.
Our mission is to distribute fliers inviting residents to hear the good news of Christ's resurrection at Grace-Vail's Easter morning worship service. The fliers also contain information about the church's Easter morning breakfast and and Easter egg hunt. Grace Vail doesn't have its own church building. Instead, members meet Sunday mornings at a new K-8 school.
The method of informing residents about these events is a change from past years when canvassers knocked on doors and visited one-on-one with people. This year we are simply dropping off fliers, and our interaction with residents has been fairly limited.
Ron and I found value in leaving our comfort zones by knocking on doors and talking with people. But because this method have been used extensively in the past, it's probably wiser to use this more passive approach so we don't risk appearing as pests. Joyce likened the changed approach to a "gentle nudge."
As a first-time canvasser, Joyce was initially overwhelmed by the daunting task of handing out fliers to so many homes. "When I first saw all the maps and all the homes, I thought I was going to die," she said. "But after a while I got used to it and it didn't seem so overwhelming."
As a Kingdom Workers employee, Joyce said she sometimes hears volunteer remark that they miss the one-on-one time with a community's residents. "Now I can see what they mean," she said.
Bill feels this is a culturally different way of reaching unchurched people. "Canvassing is a new and different way for me to serve."
He added, "The members of Grace-Vail who have opened up their homes to allow us to stay with them and to feed us every night are the unsung heroes of this canvassing effort. They are the ones who really are making an impact with the people.'
Kathy said, "I wouldn't have done this if it hadn't been for Kingdom Workers. This is a comfortable way to spread the seed. The Lord has blessed our work. He has put no obstacles in the way."
Both Kathy and Bill agreed that this method of canvassing is a "low-impact, low-stress way of spreading God's message." Though we don't know the final outcome of our work, we pray that it will take root in some way to bring more residents of this area to know Jesus as their Savior.
"Tonight we are looking forward to having dinner with a couple who recently became members of Grace-Vail as a result of a visit from a Faith In Action team that Kingdom Workers sent a couple of years ago," Doug said.
I was relieved to learn that our mission trip involved hanging flyers on doors. I can do that! As we leap frogged through neighborhoods "the person outside" always landed on my partner. I often thought "whew!" because I just wasn't sure what to say.
As the week went on I started to hear our team's strategy as they met folks at the door. "I have an invitation for you for Easter church and breakfast!" I liked that one.
Finally my day arrived. There he was! A man working outside on his car with his son and father watching. I prayed, "Lord, please put the right words in my mouth." I confidently walked up the driveway and asked the group, "Would you like this invitation to church on Easter with breakfast?" To my surprise the answer was "Yes! We need to get involved with church again. We need the fellowship. We need church." Praise God!
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