The downtown outreach started in 2002 with a simple desire: to seek and find those in our area that are going through some tough times and minister to them on a very practical and personal level. A small group sacked up 12 lunches and began to roam the streets of Joplin, looking for those whom we could minister to.
Until 2012, that purpose and vision remained. We built 80 sack lunches a week (over 30,000! Praise the Lord!) and were blessed with the opportunity to not only serve the less fortunate in our town, but have come to know them on a very personal level. The outreach has continued to grow and as we have let the Lord lead, He has taken us in directions we couldn't have ever imagined.
Our weekly service now focuses around the Salvation Army. We feel the Lord has opened doors for us to minister and have truly come to love the people that gather there weekly as well as the staff that dedicates their lives for the good of others. This consistent service at the Salvation Army has led us to be a part of so many different things including: Family Day, Disaster Relief for the tornado victims, leading services at the City of Refuge and have been in and a part of so many other things. We have celebrated birthdays, offered grief counseling and prayer support, we've rejoiced with them in the good times and stood by them in the bad times. It is truly an honor to know them and to encourage them with the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.
In 2012, the Lord opened a huge door for us. Now, instead of doing the sack lunches, we have taken full responsibility for the planning of and the executing of the Saturday noon meal. You may contact us if you would like to be a part, or just show up at the Salvation Army any given Saturday around 11am and see what the Lord would have for you!