Diaconal Ministry Report by Craig Van Hill
After becoming aware that some of our students did not have their own beds to sleep in, The Dock Ministries applied and was approved to become a certified chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
This is an organization dedicated to building and delivering bunk beds to local children in need and was founded under the premise that every child deserves to have a place to lay their head at night that is warm, soft, and promotes a good night’s sleep. Since that time, we have been diligently building a team, gathering supplies and equipment, raising money, and hosting community build days.
Today, our team consists of a build manager, a delivery manager, a bedding manager, and a social media manager. More team members are needed that we are actively recruiting. We have solicited and received donations for bedding and supplies from organizations such as: Tuft and Needle, The Grand Rapids Sewing Guild, Mansco, and CapTrust.
Additionally, we registered with the Lowe’s for Pros program, which helps us tremendously, and offers discounted rates on tools, supplies, and lumber. With the help of faithful Dock volunteers, we cleared out a large storage area at The Dock facility to accommodate all the lumber, supplies, mattresses, and bedding we have accumulated. We now have a dedicated space where everything can be neatly stored and proper inventory maintained.
Our first build day was held in the parking lot of The Dock Ministries on Saturday, September 11. We had a great turnout! We are located on a busy road that is heavily trafficked, so we were a highly visible presence in our community that day. Many passers-by stopped to inquire and we were able to share about our ministry. The second build day was held soon after on Friday, October 8. After a lot of sweat and effort, we now have 22 complete beds ready to share with children in need!
We are currently in the process of receiving and sorting applications in adherence to Sleep in Heavenly Peace protocol and guidelines. Our first bed was delivered on Tuesday, December 7.
What an awesome moment!
It was delivered to a 5 year old precious little girl within our zip code. Upon arrival, team members instantly noticed the house was extremely sparsely furnished. The little girl’s room was completely bare and void of toys or any other furnishings. She was a talkative bundle of energy and so excited by our arrival! It was abundantly clear that she was absolutely thrilled to have something to call her very own.
Immediately after the bed was assembled and made, complete with a beautiful new comforter, soft sheets, pillow, and a new teddy bear, she crawled under the bed and set up her “fort.” It was evident this was going to be a place of safety and refuge for her of her very own. We are extremely excited and anticipating many more stories like this in the days to come!
As our ministry grows and matures by God’s provision and grace, our prayer is that no child in our community sleeps on the floor.