Pastor Larry Sundin
Eight years ago, while we were just laying the foundation that would soon be Rock Springs Church, Dave and Bev Douglas invited us to their home to participate in a Shoe Box Packing Party. I remember how we packed around 75 boxes with toys, school supplies, coloring books, and crayons. Then we prayed over the boxes. At that time, I had no idea how much this ministry would grow. By the next fall, participating in Operation Christmas Child became one of the first ways we chose as a new church to begin living out our Missions strategy in the world. We believed we had been blessed by God to be a blessing in our community, in our city, the Southwest, and around the world. So, we formulated what we called our Acts 1:8 strategy so we might begin looking at ways we could be a blessing.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus said to His followers: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” We see our Jerusalem as the community in which we live. We believe God has called us to bless our friends and neighbors with the love and truth of Jesus Christ. One of the ways we’re doing this is by inviting friends and neighbors to join us in Journey Groups, where we are learning how to follow Jesus together.
We see our Judea as the city God has planted us in. We are part of the city of Eloy. For nearly eight years we’ve sought to be a blessing to Eloy by supporting the Eloy Food Bank with monthly donations of food, diapers, and helpers who come to do whatever is needed. And for the last two years we’ve been blessed to help the Eloy Police Department each December with their “Shop with a Cop” initiative.
We see our Samaria as the greater Southwest in which we live. Seven years ago, we made a commitment to partner with and support Regeneration Church in Ocean Beach, Calif. Since then, we’ve sent three mission teams to help work with the less fortunate of Ocean Beach. We’ve done two coat and blanket drives to support their ministry to the homeless in the winter. And we’ve continually given prayer and financial support as this little church seeks to reclaim Ocean Beach for Jesus Christ.
Finally, we see our ends of the earth as the opportunity God’s given us to bless our world in a number of ways. For the past eight years, we have given 5% of all our offerings to help fund missionaries who are being sent to the darkest corners of the globe. This past spring our people gave generously to aid the churches and people of Ukraine. And now, this fall, we are once again hoping to bless thousands of children with shoeboxes filled with joy, love, and the good news of Jesus. And the good news is that you are invited to join us. Just come out Nov. 10 to our shoe box packing party in the Ballroom—and discover how you too can be a blessing!