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Teens create MAD connection for ministry

Posted: June 30, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: June 30, 2012 1:30 a.m.
 

Two friends saw a need and acted. Louie Luepke IV, 21, and Dalton Forman, 19, attend Heart of the Canyons Church, where they help with a free clothing store, but they saw a greater need in the Santa Clarita Valley.

That idea created MAD (Making A Difference) Ministries. MAD connects churches and programs to each other to help the growing homeless issue, they said.

“Individual churches are trying to do something about it,” Luepke said. “We are saying, ‘Let’s work together.’”

Churches coming together
Luepke and Forman were best friends working side by side in a clothing ministry at church. After attending the first multichurch One Voice Concert at Grace Baptist, they were inspired.

“We wanted to see all the churches come together like the One Voice Concert tries to do,” Forman said.

They saw that many churches already had clothing and food banks in place, but many more people could be served by those programs. Leupke and Forman felt if they could connect churches to each other and create a network that was willing to help fill needs for anyone, more help could be given to the people who needed it most.

“We saw a lot of hurt in this valley,” Luepke said.

MAD Ministries has partnered with Valencia Hills to coordinate a sock drive and Heart of the Canyons to hold the clothing drive at the second One Voice Concert. That drive collected hundreds of bags of clothing and filled a U-Haul truck.

They hope more churches will begin to partner with them to fill the needs of the people hurting in Santa Clarita. They plan to create a directory of churches with programs that are willing to assist with similar campaigns and take referrals from other churches of people in need.

Creating believers
Luepke and Forman both wanted to help others in a way they could also share their faith.

“We are creating opportunities for the gospel to be heard,” Luepke said. “Giving away clothes and socks is a way to tell them about Christ.”

“Being a Christian is about showing love for others and helping others,” Forman said. “Watching people come to know Christ while we are offering them clothing, renews my energy.”

They want to work with many churches to facilitate clothing or food campaigns or help them find other churches with campaigns that can help their members. They feel this is the way to connect all the churches of the valley and help a greater amount of people in need.

“That is the body of Christ working together to be a light in the world and show them the love of Christ,” Luepke said.

“It’s what we are called to do.”

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