We are so thankful that Virginia Avenue Baptist Church allowed us to invade their entire facility for the weekend. We are also thankful for the other many different churches that pulled together under one roof to serve the community.
The main vision we had in starting Vision Onward was to "see a passion ignited that brings unity among churches, to share time, treasures and talents between the west and east side on an ongoing basis. " We definitely saw this take place in a HUGE way this weekend! We know there were many churches were represented there. The ones we know of for sure were Grace Community Church, Virginia Avenue Baptist, Bartlesville Southern Baptist, First Baptist Church, Life Church, Happy Hill Church and Eastern Heights Baptist Church. It is possible there were even more that we are unaware of.
We are also extremely grateful for the food donations that allowed us to serve free lunch, dinner and brunch. We were given pizzas from local pizza places, hot dogs and hamburgers from Wal-Mart, personal donations of brisket and hamburger and hot dog buns, and a complete and amazing brunch served by Celebrate Recovery. The brisket for dinner was amazing- - -thanks to the Westside Community Center for smoking it all day Friday. We had MANY compliments on how good the brisket was! We know we served at least 600 plates of food on Saturday and probably 200-250 plates on Sunday.
The music artists did a phenomenal job of entertaining and at the same time preaching the gospel. If you listen to the words of their songs, it is as if they are singing straight from the Bible. PAE, Gospel Cam, and God's Army are all incredibly talented artists and we truly enjoyed our time with them.
We would like to leave you with a few testimonies we have received from the weekend:
I just wanted to let you know that my sons have attended a few times to the weekly church function and then they also attended last Sat and absolutely LOVED every minute of it. I think it is really great what you do for all these kids(and the others that help you). I know that my children have learned alot from the few times they have attended. So I just wanted to say Thank you and your great!! I would like to keep them involved with your program, which nights is it now and where?? Thank you again."
"Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the Walk This Way event. It was such an honor to be of service to the amazing children and families that came. Jeff, what you are doing is just incredible---you really are reaching out to those who I know, often don't have anybody that cares about them. You are a living example to us all.
Please let me know any way I can be of service to Vision Onward.
"I was so surprised at the level of desperation of some of the people I talked to. I would just be making small talk, asking where they were from, how long that they had been in Bville, etc.and I guess their needs were so burdensome that just having someone express any kind of interest in them they were just ready to "unload" and be able to share their burden with someone. To be honest, I was completely caught off guard."
"Jeff and Marci,
Thank you so much for putting together the WALK THIS WAY event last weekend! It was such a unique joy to see people from so many different churches come together to truly be the body of Christ and to help share the love of God with so many people. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your team of volunteers. I pray God will continue to bless Vision Onward and your family as you continue to be available to serve him through this wonderful ministry He has given you. God Bless"
"I would have to say that the things that I love about walk this way the most of course are the precious children! I love to see their excitement and joy playing games, doing crafts, and getting to learn dances from Stage Art. God’s Army is amazing and I enjoyed seeing them interact with the kids and touch their lives through the message of the gospel. I also loved seeing all the people of Bartlesville coming together to serve and love on others in the community. Thanks for all your hard work Jeff and Marci putting this together. It is a blessing for the entire community."
We felt truly blessed by the number of people that came out to support Walk This Way. We could not have done it on our own. So thank you all so very much for your support!!
**Also, for anyone who was there and volunteered, we would love your feedback. What did you like / dislike? What did we do well/ not so well? Any advice you could give us to make it better next year? We would love to hear from you!!