"We wanted to have an impact on our community," said the Rev. Kenn DeShane, the church's pastor, "and what better way to do that than to give a pair of shoes to a child who needs them, especially with cold weather coming on."
This project is part of the church's missions emphasis. "We have definitely become a missions minded church," DeShane said. "Jesus tells us in the book of Acts that we who believe in Him need to be 'witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.' We see Salem and the surrounding communities as our Judea and Samaria. We support missionaries and have taken missions trips, but we wanted to reach out locally, too, and giving away shoes is a way to do that."
The shoes are being supplied by an outreach ministry from Ozark, Mo., called Rural Compassion. They focus their outreach in communities of fewer than 2,500 residents and the group's leadership travels all across the country, bringing the needs of rural Americans to the attention of church groups and civic organizations.
These groups then host shoe drives or raise money to help purchase shoes to give away. "We are thankful that Rural Compassion's Sole Mission was willing to help us reach out to Salem and Fulton County, to have a positive impact," DeShane said.
To find out more about First Assembly of God, you can visit their Web site at www.salemfirstassemblyofgod.com.