Soup, salad and spuds meal to benefit Hope missions
Maria Piltz and Dawn Mengel were the coleaders of the soup, salad and spuds fundraiser to benefit various missions at Hope Community Church, Claussville.
The missions run on a three-year basis with this summer’s a local mission to benefit the elderly in the area around the church.
The next one will be an international mission, followed by a national one. The national mission helps the elderly or people in need at other places around the country.
The international mission during the last few trips has been to Belize where they stay in a work camp while working at an orphanage.
The equivalent of Vacation Bible School is offered while the men do structural work as jacks-of-all trades.
In addition to helping with the children the women help in the kitchen.
The church sponsors other dinners throughout the year including a Sportsman’s dinner. Half the money raised on that one goes to the Allentown Rescue Mission.
Assistant Pastor Gary Kuehner said a mission includes high school age youth plus adults.
Belize is just south of Mexico in Central America. Mengel visited on her own a couple of months ago.
The southern part of Belize is rapidly being developed but the northern part where the church goes is rain forest and a tourist area.
“We go into the bush most of the time but occasionally visit a city,” said Mengel. “The people are deep into Mayan culture. It is an excellent opportunity that opens your eyes. What she likes is that the team bonds.
She joined the church four years ago and wasn’t sure she wanted to make the change because she enjoyed the missions in her former church. When she arrived at Hope, she found it was the last day to sign up for a mission.
In addition to the many varieties of soup, there were baked potatoes and, for the first time, baked sweet potatoes, and a table filled with salad makings.
“It is colorful, isn’t it?” Judy Lichty said.
Barry Mengel said every group the church has is going strong.
“We get a pretty good turnout,” he noted.
Dawn Mengel said the church is growing fast and there is talk of expanding.
Ben Fry, a youth group member since seventh grade, comes in to help clean up.
He is in “High School Musical,” and received the Volunteer of the Year award.
Judy Lichty filled her salad plate. She said it was the first time she saw the sign advertising the soup, salad and spuds dinner.
Pastor Ken Kalisz said the dinner supports the youth mission.
On the last national mission, they went to New York to do repairs for the elderly. The local mission gets some new kids involved so they have experience to go to the national mission
He said the classrooms are full and the old nursery has been expanded.
Now they are raising funds to create a new sanctuary and use the present one as a fellowship hall.