One of our students asked me a series of questions for a school report he was doing. One of the questions caught me off guard. When a question catches someone off guard, the first response is often very telling. He asked me what I loved about our church and why I stayed (this is my 18th year at Pantano). My first response was that our church is outwardly-focused, concerned about making a difference in our community and actually engaged in serving. That’s what I love most about our church. So let me report on just a few ways we are making a difference through our service.
During our recent Haven Totes food drive, our Pantano family donated 5,840 items of food at a total value $1,904. And more keeps coming in! Haven Totes is our supplemental food program that feeds impoverished kids on the weekend. These children get to take a backpack home on Friday that is filled with food and bring back the empty backpack on Monday. We are currently feeding over 60 kids in four schools. With our food drive along with grants from the Sundt Corp and Walmart, we’ll have enough food for the rest of the year. Thanks to Melissa Prince and Brian Lucas, our Student Ministries Staff, for organizing students to pick up the food bags from the parking lot.Thank you, Pantano!
A few weeks ago we did our first “serving survey” to get a baseline of how much serving we are actually doing as a church. 350 people responded and we discovered that 59% of folks are serving in some ministry at our church, 51% are serving somewhere in our community and 13% have participated in our global outreach. According to Barna, only about 18-19% of Americans express their faith through serving in their church or through a non-profit. I’m not surprised our numbers are higher as we have made this a core value as our mission states: Loving people to Jesus, launching passionate people to make a difference. Thank you, Pantano!
Feed My Starving Children Update
1,830 volunteers packed 381,024 meals totalling 49 pallets of food. These balanced meals go to partner organizations who work with their communities providing meals to children in need. We just got word that the meals have already been shipped to El Salvador (1,260 boxes), Cambodia (504 boxes) and the Philippines (5 boxes added to the food that was packed at the TCC site). Thank you, Pantano!
Two of our Pantano folks have been asked to speak before the TUSD School Board on two different occasions to tell about the difference our church is making in the schools we serve with our mentoring and after school clubs. It is our chance to share with the community that we care and are making a difference. Thank you, Pantano!
We still have 13 children at our partner church in Playas, Ecuador, who need to be sponsored. This too is a form of service where you can provide a child food, medical care, education and an opportunity to know Jesus and actually get to know this child and his family. Sponsorships are available through Feb 24. Contact Stephanie Gauthier (firstname.lastname@example.org) or David Thoresen (email@example.com) in the church office if you are interested (520.298.5395).