Kevin and Cheryl Youngquist have gone overseas to participate in mission work, and Cheryl has been doing mission work most of her life. So when the opportunity arose to do mission work in their own community, they jumped at the chance. “If Cheryl and I were willing to travel out of country on short-term missions, then maybe we should be interested in what is happening nearby with our own neighbors,” Kevin said. Thus began their journey with the church’s outreach program known as Wells.
Their church is Ferrysburg Community Christian Reformed Church in Spring Lake, Mich. Pastor Nate Visker said the term Wells comes from the story of the Samaritan woman and how Jesus provided her with living water. “Our church buildings are not the only reservoirs of God’s grace and presence,” he said. “We can go into our communities and [create] ‘wells’ and tap into God’s presence and kingdom.” Wells groups go out and participate in the community throughout the week, and come back and get recharged each Sunday.
The Younquists lead a Wells group called Swiss Village Well, ministering to an area of town called Swiss Village. They have done informal prayer walks and hosted events such as a trunk-or-treat and bingo games, along with several movie nights.
Visker hopes to see more Wells groups in the future. “My hope for our Wells is that they will teach people the classic Christian value of doing mission in the context of spiritual community,” he said. “We have many people who are serving on their own in important ways. That’s great. But I believe we are always more effective when we serve as a small community.”