Frank and George were connected through Volunteers In Service one year ago through the calls and cards ministry. Frank, who is isolated, lonely and has little support systems in his life, began receiving caring and supportive phone calls weekly from George, a volunteer from a local church. Ironically, two years prior, Frank had denied services through VIS because of his skepticism with church volunteers. Today, Frank looks forward to the weekly phone call from George, his heart is open to hear about the Lord and he is freely receiving prayer.
The purpose of the “Connecting” work at VIS is to relationally connect church volunteers to people outside of the church. The goal is to build community with those around us and to model the love of Jesus through our service. VIS receives referrals from social service agencies that are able to work with people for a limited period of time. People referred are those who have limited to no support system in their life and are often lonely, isolated people. The purpose of “Church Group Service Projects” is to work together in the name of Christ and help people with identified needs they are not able to meet. Through service projects church volunteers are able to build relationships with the people who are being serve with some resulting in giving their life to Christ.
In the Connecting Ministry, VIS receives referrals and contacts local churches through a designated VIS contact person or the deacon chair to meet the need and begin the relationship. VIS staff, assisted by office volunteers, then does extensive follow-up work to address any problems and to encourage the development of the relationship. Our emphasis on relationships comes from our belief that the greater the investment in relationships, the greater the opportunity to help someone move towards long-term solutions.
Submitted by Bernita Tuinenga
Diaconal Ministry Report