Hammond (Ind.) Christian Reformed Church has been building friendships in its community by serving free breakfasts and dinners.
During the summer months, hot breakfasts are provided on Sunday mornings before church. For the rest of the year, dinners are served on the last Thursday of each month.
In the area around the church, there are people who are hurting financially and welcome these meals.
About 100 people attend the dinners. Volunteers shop for, cook, and serve the food. Church members also come to the dinners to eat with their guests and get to know them.
Rev. John Kostelyk said, “Because a lot of the same folks come each time, we have gotten to know them well. This has opened the door for members of our congregation to pray with them when they are going through crises or trouble. I have been called to visit people in the hospital because of their contact with us at the free dinners.”
Some of the regular guests have begun attending worship services as well. Kostelyk said, “It seemed a natural next step for them to come and worship because they already had a relationship with us. We have been humbled by the way God has blessed our attempts to reach out to our community with the love of Christ.”