Inasmuch Adds New Ministry

First Question:  What is essential, inexpensive, nutritious, fun to make, comes in a cardboard box and feeds 216 hungry people?  Answer:  One box of 36 bags of Kids Against Hunger meals packed by volunteers and sent to a third world country.

Second Question:  What is the latest compassion ministry offered by the national office of Operation Inasmuch?  Answer:  Packing low-cost, nutritious meals through the Kids Against Hunger program, thousands at a time.

Fun Food Packing

Kids Against Hunger food packing events are perfect for almost all ages and bring people together working, across generational lines.

Operation Inasmuch, Inc. became an official satellite of Kids Against Hunger (KAH) in March.  As such the Inasmuch ministry is now able to offer congregations, church groups and businesses the opportunity to pack a large number of dehydrated meals that are sent to Haiti and other third world countries.  “We applied to become a KAH satellite because we see this ministry, feeding hungry people, as aligning perfectly with our mission of mobilizing believers to minister to people at their point of need,” says David Crocker, Executive Director of the Inasmuch ministry.  “Also, we see it as an opportunity to offer a new way to serve for those churches already using the Inasmuch model.  Finally, we see the food packing project as a simple and effective way of bringing congregations together as part of a larger Inasmuch United event.”  Kids Against Hunger (www.kidsagainsthunger.com) is an international food-aid organization founded in 1999 “to reduce the number of hungry children in the USA and to feed starving children throughout the world.”  The Inasmuch ministry is one of about 100 satellites across the nation affiliated with KAH based on New Hope, Minnesota, outside Minneapolis.  Last year alone, KAH satellites packed forty million meals for hungry people around the world!

Food packing events are fun and build a community spirit for the group working together.

The Inasmuch ministry has already conducted two KAH packing events:  Central Baptist Church of Bearden, Knoxville, TN on March 17—53,118 meals packed—and Faith Promise Church, Knoxville, TN on April 13—50,000 meals packed.  More than 300 volunteers were involved at Central Baptist and about 170 at Faith Promise.

Crocker says, “The food packing endeavor will never become the primary aspect of the Inasmuch ministry, merely an ‘add-on’ for those churches that either want to introduce a new ‘wrinkle’ into their ongoing Inasmuch events or want to use the packing as a sort of stack pole project for an Inasmuch United event.”

“Because of the logistics of staging a KAH packing event, far and away most of them will be within a short radius of Knoxville,” adds Crocker.  “Occasionally, when the event is large enough to merit the efforts required to move the packing equipment a long distance, we will undertake packing projects at some distance from our home office in Knoxville.”

Churches interested in staging a food packing event should contact the Inasmuch ministry at 865-951-2511 or david@operationinasmuch.org.

Eureka! An Inasmuch United

The following article appeared on Wednesday, August 29, in the Woodford County (Illinois) News Bulletin:

Third Operation Inasmuch Event Completes 15 Projects

By Legal Record Webmaster

EUREKA – The third Operation Inasmuch project, sponsored by Eureka Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), was held on a very warm Saturday, Aug. 4, in Eureka.

Members and friends of ECC and St. Luke’s Catholic Church were sent out to complete work projects for 15 homeowners who either could not afford or physically complete repair work on their homes.

Applications for projects were taken by the church, and site evaluators screened the requested work to be sure it met the skills of church members and could be completed in one day.

Work included trimming bushes and trees, painting fences, porch and step repair, doorbell installation and other tasks. Other teams cheap cipro online working at the church made shawls and walker bags for local nursing homes residents, prepared food for the work teams and cleaned the kitchen, and guided younger members of the congregation in crafts and singing for nursing home residents.

All work was completed free of charge. Funding, food, and supplies for the event were provided by individual donations, as well as the Eureka Area United Fund, Eureka IGA, Cornerstone Restaurant, Eureka Casey’s General Store.

Begun at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayettville, NC in 1995, Operation Inasmuch is “one great day of ministry to people in need by church members.” It is based on Matthew 25:40–“Truly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, my friends, you did it to me.”

Inasmuch Plays in Peoria!

The following article appeared August 12, 2012 on the CINewsNow web site, serving Peoria, Illinois:

Glen Oak Church helps community in Operation Inasmuch

PEORIA, Ill. — Homes on Peoria’s East Bluff have a little more curb-appeal. This after members of one local church is lending a helping hand, or dozens of them to residents in need.

Painting, yard work, and home up-keep. Some of the general things a homeowner is familiar with, but when funds and health aren’t there, Glen Oak Church is happy to help.

“It’s great that we can do that and we have the time, and the privilege, and the resources to get this done. All of the extra help that people put in for this ya know months in advance. It’s amazing, and you go home feeling tired but really good,” said volunteer Jacob Williams.

The 10th annual Operation Inasmuch provided help to 30 less fortunate homes in Peoria. About 120 volunteers put there handiness to good use by building porches and painting houses. For some residents, yard work just isn’t possible.

“I’m not able to get out and do some of the yard work because I have real bad allergies and I break out just by the slightest touch of grass so it’s really wonderful that they’re able to come out and help when i especially need it around this time,” said local resident Bonita Harris.

Others like Rodney Farlow applied for for the work because injuries have disabled them from working.

“With me not working and not being able to work, the funds aren’t there. Ya know and that’s why I said to have a little piece at a time. By the time winter would come around I still wouldn’t have got the work done,” said Farlow.

The church got two grants to help pay for supplies from the East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Association and the Central Illinois Community Foundation. Residents in need can apply for the help each year.

Two Churches Serve Suffolk, VA

The following article was published on August 4, 2012, in the Suffolk (Virginia) News-Herald:

Church Members Reach Out

by Tracy Agnew

Dozens of members of two downtown churches spread out across the city Saturday on a mission of hope.

It was the second year of Operation Inasmuch for West End Baptist Church and Suffolk Presbyterian Church. They started doing the ministries last year in lieu of conducting vacation Bible school.

“We really are enjoying this more than VBS,” said Lou Ventura, one of the organizers of the event. “At VBS, we were just ministering to ourselves. We felt we needed to really help the community.”

Jack Leach, left, and Jack Stoughton help repair Peggy Luter’s front porch on First Avenue on Saturday. The project was part of Operation Inasmuch, done by two downtown churches.

The weekend-long event began Friday, when the two churches met at West End and the Rev. Rebecca Lesley of Suffolk Presbyterian delivered the message. Teams ironed out final details for the next day over a potluck dinner.

On Saturday, six teams went off on their missions of compassion.

A hygiene kit team assembled hygiene kits and donated them to the Western Tidewater Free Clinic. A sewing team delivered pillows, walker bags and lap blankets they had handmade to a nursing home. A yard sale team sold donated items for 25 cents each at Suffolk Presbyterian Church. A construction team completed a three-day project to repair and paint a front porch on First Avenue. A cemetery team began mapping the graves at Oak Lawn Cemetery, the long-neglected resting place of some of Suffolk’s most prominent black citizens from the late 1800s.

And finally, a prayer team visited each of the other sites to pray with volunteers.

“It’s a way for us to get into the community,” Ventura said. “This was a successful thing last year, so we decided to do it again.”

At the yard sale, anyone who needed items they couldn’t afford was allowed to just take them.

On First Avenue, Peggy Luter watched as a team of volunteers repaired her front porch.

“These people are wonderful,” said Luter, a member of West End who also contributed as part of the sewing team. “I appreciate these people. I told them I would like to be up there hammering.”

Part of the wood on her porch had been rotting, she said. The team decided the best course of action was to replace the entire porch. They also offered to come back and stain the wood, she said.

“This is just a very small way that our churches can express our ministry into the community,” church member Jack Stoughton said during a break from repairing the porch. “It’s a great ministry.”

On Sunday, the two churches planned to meet for worship at Suffolk Presbyterian, with Dr. Chester Brown, interim pastor of West End, delivering the message.

WORLD Magazine Mentions Inasmuch

The June 16 issue of WORLD Magazine mentioned the recent North Carolina Inasmuch event in it’s Human Race section.

Here’s the article:  

The entire Human Race page (from WORLD’s online version of the magazine) follows. The Inasmuch mention is highlighted:

There’s Inasmuch Life in Michigan

David Crocker likes to say that Operation Inasmuch is not just a “one and done.”

Operation Inasmuch, Inc., has trained thousands of churches to conduct a single day of community outreach to serve those in need. But “once is not enough!”

That’s why we created the Inasmuch Life process to help churches mobilize their people to volunteer on a regular basis, with lifestyles of compassion ministry.

But sometimes a church needs no training!

The following article shows how churches in the Cheasaning, Michigan area turned their Inasmuch United into a lifetime of caring for the hungry. The article was published in the online Tri-County Citizen on May 6, 2012:

Inasmuch donations needed to continue feeding the needy

BY JEANNE MARCELLO STAFF REPORTER

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Volunteers sort food into boxes for needy families in the Chesaning area and surrounding communities. About 50 volunteers are needed to help with the food distribution on the second Saturday of every month. Contact Trinity United Methodist Church to volunteer time or donate money to help this effort continue. (TCC file photo)

CHESANING – For the past year, Chesaning area volunteers have been dedicating one Saturday a month to provide food for those in need. It’s an extension of Operation Inasmuch; which focuses on helping others. During the past year, several area churches, local businesses, some national chain stores and the Chesaning Union School District have all contributed to make the food program work. Once a month, each family receives a box full of food to help them through tough times. Cash donations are needed to keep these truckloads of food coming.

The project coordinator, who prefers to remain anonymous, said, “We got through the first year. We can see this is going to be a big need in the community, and we’re growing.” Presently, 175 boxes are given out on a monthly basis, feeding about 475 people per month.

The coordinator explained that while the food is not free, over the past year, the cost of truckloads of food has been $500 each month. But with increased fuel costs, the food will now be 0 each month. Local churches, businesses, even several individuals, have donated money to keep the food deliveries coming.

Those in need who would like to be put on the list of food recipients should go sign up at the Chesaning Area Emergency Relief (CAER) center up to two weeks before the food is delivered. The truck arrives on the second Saturday each month, loaded with 10,000 lbs. of food coming from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

Swartzmiller Lumber owner Don Swartzmiller has been bringing equipment to unload the truck each month. Approximately 50 volunteers help through much of the day sorting food into boxes.

Over the past year, most of the food distributions have taken place at Trinity United Methodist Church. Although during the winter months, they were able to use the Chesaning Union Schools bus garage; which enabled volunteers to work indoors.

During the past year, the following organizations, and individuals, have donated funds to cover the cost of the monthly food deliveries: Our Lady Catholic Church, St. Mary Church of Albee, St. Michael Church of Oakley, Trinity United Methodist Church of Chesaning, Family Dollar, Walmart, and even an individual who had benefited from the food program while he was unemployed.

Other organizations that have contributed include: Frank’s Super Market (provided older shopping carts and boxes for packing food), Nixon’s Grocery (helps with food for community suppers), and the Boy Scouts (carry boxes to vehicles for people and help with the community suppers).

The coordinator said, “This is not really a church thing; it’s a community thing. It’s a community project. A lot of people are not affiliated with a church.”

With so many families needing help at this time, more cash donations and volunteer labor are needed to continue this worthwhile Operation Inasmuch food program.

“Some of the recipients think the food is free. It’s not free. It’s kind of a hardship for us to do this. But the need is here,” the coordinator said.

Donations can be directed to the Trinity United Methodist Church. Those interested in volunteering can call the church as well; (989) 845-3157.

 

NC Unites to Build Record # of Ramps

The following article was published May 2012 under Convention News in the North Carolina Baptist website.

The article discusses the statewide Inasmuch United (called NC Operation Inasmuch) – and the huge success of the Rampin’ Up initiative to build a record number of wheelchair ramps in one day!

Rampin Up!, Operation Inasmuch successful in community outreach

By: Melissa Lilley

Photo credit (all photos): Melissa Lilley, BSCNC Communications

After just a couple hours working, Vicky Coerper couldn’t believe the team’s progress. Before the day’s end the wheelchair ramp would be finished, giving her mom a new sense of freedom.

“I am very thankful. This will help keep my mom, and her caretaker, safe,” Coerper said. Coerper’s mom, who has dementia and cannot care for herself, came to live with her and her husband about three years ago in their North Raleigh home. Coerper said adding the wheelchair ramp to their home will help her mom be able to get outside on days when the weather is nice, instead of being stuck inside all the time.

Coerper’s mom has a wheelchair but it is difficult to navigate in and out of the house, and even inside the house.

Coerper’s family is just one of many across the state that benefited from “Rampin Up!” on April 28. “Rampin Up!” was an effort among North Carolina Baptists to build wheelchair ramps for aging adults, as ramps consistently rank among the highest needs of the aging-adult population.

In one day, nearly 3,000 volunteers from North Carolina Baptist churches built 327 wheelchair ramps.

North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) partnered with NC Baptist Men to coordinate the initiative as part of the larger statewide Operation Inasmuch. Operation Inasmuch is an event that encourages churches to choose one day and minister to those in need in their communities through hands-on, practical efforts.

After May 5, when more volunteers will participate in community outreach, the total number of participants for this year’s Operation Inasmuch will include more than 170 North Carolina Baptist churches, representing about 50 counties.

NCBAM Director Sandy Gregory called April 28 an “independence day” for aging adults in North Carolina.

“People of all ages can find themselves confined to a wheelchair. But as we age, the number of people unable to leave their homes because of a lack of mobility increases. They are trapped until someone builds a wheelchair ramp for them,” Gregory said in a statement released by NCBAM.

NCBAM reported that six people prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior through “Rampin Up!”

A ramp costs usually costs $700 and takes about eight hours to build. Some churches built more than one ramp on April 28, and Eastern Baptist Association in Sampson County built more than 20 ramps.

Members from Bay Leaf Baptist Church, known as the Bay Leaf Builders, built two ramps April 28, including Coerper’s. The group includes mostly retired adults.

“Just about every week we build a ramp. We are able to share our faith with the homeowners and pray with them,” said Reece Dillard.

Dillard said Bay Leaf Builders began in 2008 because people saw the need for such a ministry and wanted to serve others.

In addition to “Rampin Up!” North Carolina Baptist churches participated in a variety of outreach efforts through Operation Inasmuch. Members of First Baptist Church in Cary volunteered with Dorcas Ministries, an organization that began in 1968 and is dedicated to helping meet physical needs and to sharing the gospel.

Dorcas Ministries serves the community through a thrift store, food pantry, crisis ministry and adult education scholarships. In the past five years Dorcas Ministries has helped more than 42,000 people and provided more than $2.2 million in financial and food assistance.

“This is more of a calling than a job,” said Howard Manning, Dorcas Ministries executive director. “It’s a practical way to put God’s commands into action.”

When Manning retired from GlaxoSmithKline he did not plan to enter the workforce again, but serving at Dorcas has provided unique opportunities. “It’s a way to exercise your true beliefs everyday. It’s Matthew 25, ” he said.

First Baptist Cary member Andrew Major has volunteered at Dorcas and is also involved with Touching Lives for Christ, First Baptist’s annual community outreach.

“One of our visions is to do local missions in North Carolina, and to do missions in the United States and internationally. Touching Lives with Christ and Operation Inasmuch help us get families involved with missions projects,” Major said.

In Scotland Neck, Dawson Baptist Church also found a creative way to serve the community. Their “Relief at the Pump” outreach took place at the Shell gas station on Main Street, where youth and adults spent the morning pumping gas and cleaning windshields.

That morning the station discounted gas 25 cents, with the church making up the difference. “It was busy all morning long. There was already a line when we got there,” said youth pastor Will Matthews.

Matthews said the idea for the outreach came after church members saw a television news report about poverty in the Scotland Neck area. “It got us to talking about what we can do to reach out,” he said.

Operation Inasmuch allowed the church to help meet a need and to share the gospel.

“Just about everyone asked why we were doing it, which gave us a really good opportunity to share Christ.”

Another Church Joins the Compassion Revolution

The Baptist Church of Beaufort, SC, conducted its first Inasmuch Day on conducted on May 5, 2012.  The Beaufort Tribune published the following article about the event on April 30, 2012:

Operation Inasmuch arrives in Beaufort!

Janet Carr Hull

Over one hundred community volunteers from the Baptist Church of Beaufort will roll up their sleeves and descend on Beaufort on Saturday, May 5 in Beaufort’s very own Operation Inasmuch event.

Baptist Church of Beaufort’s Dr. Jim Wooten calls the event a day to “deliberately turn our attention outward and to put our energies into ministries that touch the lives of people in need. We call it Operation Inasmuch, and we hope it will become at least an annual emphasis.”

The model for this missions challenge is driven by Operation Inasmuch, Inc., a national non-profit organization that helps churches break down barriers between the culture and the church. The large scale effort encourages churches to minister to those in need in their communities through hands-on, practical efforts such as construction projects, landscaping, painting, block parties and prayer walking. Over 1600 churches in 21 states have joined the revolution and have taken the challenge to go into their communities and spread the love with no strings attached.

The code words for this event come from the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40, “Inasmuch as you did it unto one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it unto me.”

Dr. Wooten more clearly defines the framework of the call to enthusiastic service, saying of the endeavor, “These words of Jesus stand as a sobering reminder of the need to put our faith buy generic zithromax us into action and to do so in ways that meet the needs of the powerless, the dispossessed, the overlooked.”

Look for smiling, happy, hardworking people in bright blue shirts all over town on Saturday, doing everything from giving out water at the park to building wheelchair ramps.

The volunteers will be participating in these events:

• Building Wheel Chair Ramps – The BCOB veteran team will take on two projects.
• Parkview Children’s Art Ministry Project – Helping the kids at Parkview create a picture collage to decorate the new community center.
• Parkview Women’s Project – Helping organize a “Dress for Success” Clothing Project.
• Habitat – The projected task for BCOB’s on-going “church build project” is subflooring, exterior framing and interior walls.
• “Thank you” Cookie Basket Project for Emergency Personnel – Home-baked cookies taken to police officers, firefighters and EMT workers who keep us safe.
• Cup of Cold Water Park Ministry – Face painting and giving out bottles of cold water in Pigeon Point Park from 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon.
• Cleaning Project for Hope Haven – Helping provide a clean and inviting environment for the children served by this Children’s Advocacy Center.
• HELP of Beaufort – Teaming to help sort and organize clothes and canned goods.
• Parking Lot Fundraiser for Children’s Missions Camps – Teaming to monitor parking lots during Taste of Beaufort.

Janet Carr Hull is the author of two poetry books published by Coastal Villages Press, and has been published in numerous literary journals nationwide. She is a native Beaufortonian.

Churches Unite to Serve Spartanburg, SC

Two churches from Spartanburg, SC, uniquely combined a Car Care Clinic with a blood drive on their first ever Inasmuch event conducted April 28, 2012

The following article was published on April 27, 2012 in GoUpstate.com as part of an events about town article:

The Stroller: ‘You can bet’

By Lou Parris stroller@shj.com

ODDS AND ENDS: Swing by St. John’s Lutheran Church on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and leave the car’s dirt with Operation Inasmuch volunteers, including folks from Trinity Methodist in Converse Heights. These volunteers will wash vehicles for free and even check the hoses under the hood and make sure your fluid levels are where they should be. It’s a no-strings-attached event, but while you’re there, consider rolling up those sleeves and giving blood. The Bloodmobile will be there for donors starting at 9 a.m. The church is at 415 S. Pine St.

###

The organizers of the Spartanburg Inasmuch event tell us that at least two people read this article and came by to offer blood!

Pictures of the event are posted on Facebook here.

Virginians Serve with NC Churches

GoDanRiver.com, the online newspaper serving Danville, VA and Reidsville and Eden, NC (Rockingham County), published the following article on May 1, 2012:

Touching Lives

By STEVE LAWSON

As usual, Sunday services at churches involved in last Saturday’s Operation Inasmuch were filled with testimonials concerning the reactions of people helped during the one-day missions blitz – as well as the blessings received by those doing the helping.

But Cathy Cardwell of Mayodan First Baptist Church said reactions began for her well ahead of Saturday’s multiple projects. Cardwell oversees the Hands of God food pantry housed at First Baptist and was responsible for helping prepare 100 bags of groceries for distribution Saturday.

One of the first things Cardwell noticed was the sharp increase in the cost of filling those bags. Two years ago, purchasing enough food for 100 bags took $1,400. This year the amount grew to $2,200.

“It attracts a lot of attention when you go to buy that much food,” Cardwell said.

When she started through the checkout line at Wal-Mart with carts filled with canned goods and other food items, Cardwell said people started asking her why she was buying so much.

“When I told them about Operation Inasmuch and giving away 100 bags of food in one day, everyone wanted to help,” she said. “It was really a blessing to see that kind of response even before the event itself.”

But the pre-event blessings were far from finished. Cardwell said she had to send her husband, Doug, to Food Lion to pick up some remaining items one day last week.

“As he was checking out with another cart filled with groceries, someone asked him what all the food was for,” Cardwell said. “When he told them about Operation Inasmuch, the person handed him a dollar. They told Doug they couldn’t do much, but they wanted to give something to help. Now, that was a blessing.”

Saturday was the fourth edition of Operation Inasmuch for the Western Rockingham County area. Local churches – including Mayodan First, Woodbine and Comer’s Chapel Baptist churches – joined forces to fulfill a wide variety of missions projects. More than 300 people of all ages worked through most of the day to complete tasks ranging from building wheelchair ramps, painting and re-glazing windows, planting a community garden, giving manicures, handing out quarters at laundromats, mowing lawns and cleaning gutters, washing cars or making no-sew blankets.

Bill Scheib directed Saturday’s communitywide missions blitz with the help of his wife, Sherry. Scheib said the event carried a lasting buy topamax online impact, both for those rendering and those receiving the provided services.

“It’s really about reaching out to help others, to demonstrate God’s unconditional love in some tangible ways,” Scheib said. “It’s about making the Bible come to life for our community.”

Operation Inasmuch began in 1995 as a one-day outreach project for Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville. The program grew so successful at involving church members with people in their community that it was soon picked up by neighboring churches. Within a few years, the missions project spread to neighboring counties, states and even to Canada and England.

The project’s primary focus is mobilizing church members to reach out to people outside the church walls. Operation Inasmuch is based on a lesson Jesus taught his disciples on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 25:40 – “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Scheib said the focus of the event was changing lives by working together for even a single day.

“In just one day, you can plant a garden or paint a house, teach a children’s Bible study or build a wheelchair ramp,” he said. “In just one day, you can change a person’s life forever by showing that you care and that God cares.”

At one point Saturday morning, more than 50 people were involved in the Operation Inasmuch ministry at Jacob’s Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Madison. While about 30 people gathered in the dining room to sing hymns and gospel songs for residents, another group was visible in the courtyard through the floor-to-ceiling windows along one side of the room.

The large crew in the courtyard had been busy since early morning completely remodeling the area. The work included building a waterfall feature, planting new greenery and flowers and adding new birdhouses.

While some worked on the landscaping and rebuilding, another crew worked on the walls surrounding the courtyard – painting and re-glazing the windows and trim.

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a few contributions and enough cooperation,” Amanda Cardwell said. “This is going to be such a nice area for these residents to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I’ve already had several tell me how much this means to them and that’s what this is all about – reaching out to others with God’s love.”