• Last modified 718 days ago (June 13, 2018)


Church members make impact on community

Staff writer

Rarely will you find anything in life free, but when five or six couples from Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church started brainstorming how to make an impact on the community, they hit upon serving free meals from a food truck.

Their food truck serves sausage sandwiches from Dale’s Supermarket, hot dogs, chips, and a bottle of water. The truck made its debut at the end of March at Birch and D Sts. and hit the scene again June 2.

No date has been set for a third round of free food and smiles, but volunteer Scott Winter says the group tentatively is looking at the end of August or beginning of September.

“My favorite part is just seeing everybody and getting everybody out talking and smiling, while we’re helping to build the community,” volunteer and truck owner Jimmy Janzen said.

The truck clearly has a mission involving faith but is not tied to any one church.

“We just had a mission to build a network and to make a connection within our community,” Winter said. “Our perspective is that we’re all in life together, and life is a lot easier when you have that sense of community.

“We decided not to affiliate ourselves with any church because we wanted everyone to feel comfortable coming. Just because they go to another church or don’t have a church, we still want them to come and for people to come to know Christ. If that means they know Christ at a church down the street, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re furthering their walk with him.”

Donovan Funk provides space to park the truck and Dale’s supermarket has been extremely helpful.

“We are so thankful to everybody,” Winter said, “not just those serving the food but those coming to eat. Together we’re better, and that’s the statement we’re trying to make.”

While the group’s original plan was to finance all the food themselves, many people voiced a willingness to help.

“Our initial plan was for the couples to pay ourselves,” Winter said. “After the first one we realized that there were a lot of people that wanted to donate. We want it to be very clear that nobody needed to donate but we also realize the donations causes us to be able to do it more often. So, it’s probably a good thing we started accepting (donations.)”

Another volunteer, Ross Duerksen, appreciates how the truck helps connect community members.

“I enjoy it,” he said. “It makes you feel good serving others in the community and meeting new people. It definitely brings a lot of smiles to people’s faces and we’re excited to continue to do it.

“I really want to run out of all food in an hour and a half. That’s my goal for next time.”

Between 300 and 325 meals were served the first time the group operated the truck, Winter said, and the number served increased to between 375 to 400 the second time around.

“Everybody needs people to lean on when times or tough or times are good,” Winter said. “Our goal is to meet and connect with people, and if that leads us to share the gospel with them, then that’s great too.”

Last modified June 13, 2018