Spreading hope in a community can seem like a daunting task, but as Hope Church in Caledonia, Missouri, learned, all you need to do is show a little love and compassion.
After attending a Rural Initiatives training with Convoy of Hope, Pastor Dale Stringer began serving his community through treat baskets. With some snacks provided by Convoy of Hope, Stinger and his church began filling baskets with treats and taking them to areas of their community. They brought baskets to the local school, fire department, police station, city hall, pregnancy resource center, and to business owners in town.
As they continued to deliver baskets around town, they began to run out of the supplies provided by Convoy of Hope. However, the church was so excited about serving their community that instead of waiting for another delivery from Convoy, they began buying snacks on their own to put into the baskets.
“We really had so much fun going around handing stuff out and blessing people,” Stringer says.
Soon people all over Caledonia knew Stringer and his church members. They looked forward to the basket deliveries. One business owner even began referring to Stringer as “Mr. Hope.”
As the group continued to serve their community, they saw new ways to spread hope. A few people noticed some community members had trouble getting into a local restaurant, as it didn’t have a wheelchair accessible ramp. So they went back to Hope Church and the congregation raised the funds to build the ramp. Church members also went and personally poured the new concrete ramp at the restaurant.
The community of Caledonia now knows that the people at Hope Church are people they can rely on.
“The basket ministry launched us into this civic duty. The town comes to us for help and knows they can depend on us,” Stringer says.
It doesn’t take much to bring hope to your community. In the words of Pastor Stinger, “… a lot of it is just showing love and compassion.”