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Church launches Hope Challenge

Posted: December 31, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: December 31, 2011 1:30 a.m.

A young member of NorthPark Community Church celebrates his message of hope during the Valencia church’s Hope Challenge.

 


NorthPark Community Church gave away hope this Christmas.

On the Sunday before Christmas, Senior Pastor Dave White challenged the more than 1,000 NorthPark members to give hope away in all kinds of small ways: Take someone out for coffee who needs companionship or encouragement, give a little extra to a worthy cause and generally volunteer time, talent or treasure in a way that lends a little light to what might be a dark place in someone’s life.

White asked for a few volunteers who would be willing to take The Hope Challenge. More than 20 people volunteered.

They were each given $100 “seed” money and challenged to multiply it by getting friends and neighbors to add to it or match it with the goal of spreading hope by providing for someone in need. The only caveats were that they do it within 48 hours and be willing to share the story with the rest of the congregation.

The stories began to pour in right away.

People used Facebook and other social media to enlist others in worthy causes. One group of participating families delivered funds to the local homeless shelter, which was in dire need of support to keep his or her doors open this winter season.

One group used the funds it collected to provide hope to a single mother with two kids who had wondered where Christmas was this year for her and her children.

One group of men spent an hour at the local Starbucks buying coffees for all who came in, inviting them to Christmas Eve services where they could hear the message of Christmas hope.

Another group of folks used the money they raised to pay the mortgage of a family with four small children who would recently lost their means of support. All in all, there was nearly $20,000 given away in gestures of God’s real love.

The miraculous stories continue to pour in and the “Hope Challenge” is still reaching people with tangible help and hope. And everyone who participated reported feeling incredible joy as they gave hope away, so much so that it became unclear who was more blessed, the ones who gave or the ones who received.

NorthPark Community Church is located at 28310 Kelly Johnson Drive in Valencia. Sunday service times are 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Visit northpark.com for more.

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