Church Without Walls offers warmth
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
East Windsor - posted Thu., Feb. 14, 2013
When the thermometer plummets and streets are covered with snow and ice, the people who live in those streets often find themselves in life-threatening situations. If they are lucky, they can move around from convenience stores, to laundromats, to libraries and other public places in order to keep from freezing.
One local church is making a concerted effort to aid those folks during the frigid weather, bringing warmth and love into people’s lives by giving them winter jackets. The Church Without Walls hopes that through its winter coat drive, it will be able to not only keep people warm this winter, but also give them the message that not all is lost and that good people are still out there.
“The Bible is very clear in teaching that when you serve people in need, the Lord receives that as you’re doing it unto Himself; you’re doing it directly to Him,” said Minister Randell Moody, of Church Without Walls. “We try and make that a mantra of our ministry. It’s not just a message that we preach, but it’s the tangible demonstration of God’s love by meeting the needs of people. We're just hands of the Lord. We’re just serving him; we want them to know this is a gift from the Lord,” he said.
Through the coat drive, the Church Without Walls hopes to donate more than 100 coats to Hartford’s House of Bread, which provides shelters, temporary and permanent housing and support programs. The Church Without Walls asks that the donated coats be something you yourself would wear, stressing the importance of expressing the love of Christ in their giving.
House of Bread volunteer Anthony Neal says that every day he sees people walking in the area without a coat, bouncing from the shelter to a store to the hospital to stay warm and not wear out their welcome. They have too much pride to ask for a handout, he said, preferring to endure the elements and show their strength. He noted that oftentimes that strength does not last as long as they would hope, causing them to do adopt extreme measures, from suicide to incarceration, just to get themselves out of their current situation.
“All it takes is getting the word out there and having people see it,” said House of Bread volunteer Anthony Neal.
The growing Church Without Walls started out doing one outreach event a year, typically serving a warm meal on Thanksgiving or Christmas. They have since expanded their outreach events year round, hoping to include businesses, organizations and people from throughout the northern Connecticut region to help improve others’ lives, while sharing the church’s love and preaching the gospel. They expect the coat drive to become an annual event and hope that through it they will meet other organizations to perform outreach with them.
“It’s not about the person that’s giving; it’s about the person that’s receiving,” said church member Karraine Moody. “It might change their perspective, it might change their outlook. They may have a crappy day and have no faith in people, but the idea that somebody thought about [them] and did this could jump their day from a one to a five. We’re hoping that the small things can lead to big changes in their lives.”
To arrange a pick-up, contact Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-394-8049. Coats can be dropped off at the Habitat for Humanity, 780 Windsor St., in Hartford, on the second floor Family Service Department.