Park View Community Mission

by: Larry Davies | Sep 14, 2014

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4

Park View Community Mission started as a typical weekly church covered-dish supper. During the meal, two strangers just off work, asked if they could come in and eat. Church members welcomed them and shared their meal. The next week the same two workers showed up again with another and asked to join in again. The following week there were five. As the number of people coming to eat the covered dish meal grew, the mission of the church changed from feeding and socializing with members to caring for those in need. Park View United Methodist Church eventually became Park View Community Mission.

The conditions were never perfect over the years but somehow God kept working miracles through the hard work and dedication of many volunteers who always seemed to show up when needed.

Park View Community Mission

Situated in one of the poorer areas of Lynchburg, Virginia, Park View Community Mission quietly goes about the business of providing a hot meal and worship every Wednesday evening. Every Thursday and Saturday, the mission also assists over 700 families per month with a shopping cart full of eggs, meat, vegetables and canned goods from Food Banks, churches and area grocery stores and restaurants. Park View Community Mission is a vital part of the 89 United Methodist churches within the Lynchburg District and has transformed into a community ministry including other churches, civic organizations and colleges.

The statistics are staggering but there are real people with every one of those numbers.

There was a young couple, with 4 children and another on the way; who lost their home and everything they owned because both parents lost jobs. All of them were living in a Salvation Army shelter when first coming to Park View. They received help with baby items, clothes, toys, groceries and a delicious meal for all. The parents later joined a local church and all five children were baptized. With employment and continued help, the family was able to rent a home and even provide shelter for others.

There is the grandmother raising her teenage granddaughter alone from infancy due to a domestic violence incident that sent the girl’s father to prison for life. There are countless others who have temporarily lost their jobs or have minimum wage jobs that don’t pay enough to get them through the month. Park View Community Mission provides each of them a temporary helping hand.

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4

But in the midst of helping so many, there were problems. Located in the basement of a now closed church, maintenance costs at times seem staggering. Providing tons of food each week requires hundreds of volunteers. At times the work load is overwhelming. Managing the logistics of collecting and distributing food, providing a hot meal every week, soliciting donations from churches, seeking and writing grant requests can be challenging at best.

Park View Community Mission continuously depends upon a regular transfusion of resources, volunteers and organizational expertise in order to continue their vitally needed ministry.

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Ecclesiastes 11:4

The first sign of a helping hand came from United Methodist Family Services, which because of a generous bequest, opened a branch office on the third floor of the Mission. They are able to share in the cost of maintaining the building. In addition, they provide a valuable service to the community, through their foster care program. Through their residential treatment programs girls and boys overcome trauma and heal. Students with special needs and autism find help and success. Teens aging out of foster care find new skills and a voice.

But the miracle of Park View Community Mission continues… More Next Week.

Meanwhile, check out the website: Park View Community Mission

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