Many children “chalked the walk,” leaving messages of faith on the sidewalk, during the 3-day Faith in Action.

Children played Bingo and other games with residents of Vinton care facilities during Faith In Action.

“Finally, maybe some good things are happening to me.”

With those words, Vinton area resident Betty Kies summarized her gratitude to the group of volunteers who helped repair her home.

“They sided my house and did a beautiful job,” says Betty. “They painted my garage, cut down shrubs and probably more — so much that to just say thank you is not really enough.”
“They” are the 125 or so volunteers who joined the 2nd annual Faith In Action weekend led by the members of Blessed Hope Church and Pastor Matt Hantz.
“The people who worked on my house were some of the nicest,” said Betty. “They all worked so hard some three days, I can’t even begin to say say how much it meant to me. I have had so many nice comments about the house. I truly feel blessed. Finally, maybe, good things are happening for me. Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart. You really blessed me.”
Participants of all ages spent three days throughout Vinton, engaged in a variety of activities, including:
  • Siding one house
  • Helping paint and scrape another house
  • Doing inside cleaning, painting and remodeling for a senior adult
  • Worked on the VORC bike trails
  • Clean-up and hauling junk from Shellsburg Elementary School
  • Children visited, sang and played bingo with residents at all 3 senior care facilities (VGH Nursing and Rehab, Vinton Lutheran Home and Windsor Manor)
  • Widened a bathroom door for a resident in a wheel chair
  • Children “chalked the walk” downtown, leaving positive message of faith for shoppers to read on the sidewalk
  • Gutter repair and home repairs for one resident, and serious landscaping for another
  • At the VORC trail, the volunteers cleared downed trees, re-cut current trails for better water flow and trail safety, removed honeysuckle and rotting undergrowth and cleared the new portion of the trail that goes all the way to the Boy Scout camp.
Assistant VPRD Matt Boggess thanked the volunteers for their work and its impact. 
“The trail system in Vinton is very much a community project,” said Boggess. “We could not continue to have a thriving system in Vinton without the continued support of groups like Blessed Hope. They really help create a sustainable system that will last a long time in town and be a huge benefit to everyone who calls Vinton home.”
While much of the work of the three-day project left tangible, visible results, there was another component of Faith in Action that organizers hope will have a longer-lasting, although harder to quantify result: They prayed.
In almost every street, and every park, prayer walkers, both adults and children, asked God to bless Vinton.

“The purpose of the prayer walk is simple.  We firmly believe that prayer matters.  God shows us throughout the Scriptures that He is pleased to work through the prayers of his people.  We, as a church, have a heart for the city of Vinton,” says Pastor Matt Hantz. “We want to see God’s kingdom come here in a real, tangible way – and therefore, we want to bathe the city in prayer. We methodically pray for souls to be saved, for protection against the enemy, for Satan’s strongholds to be destroyed in families and neighborhoods.  We are going to pray for lives to be changed by the gospel, for opportunities for the church and God’s people to reach out to our community in truth and grace.  We ask God to have his way in each and every situation – praying that his will be done (we won’t know specific things going on, but He will). We pray throughout the entire city, moving up and down each street.”

The prayer-walkers stopped at each school and park to pray.  “We were praying for students, sporting events, safety, coaches and teachers, for truth,” says the pastor. “The reality is there is no limit to what we can, should and will pray for.  God will not be limited by our prayers, but instead will honor them by filling in the blanks when and where we don’t know how or the specifics to pray.”

See some photos of the various projects HERE.