Hope for the Heartland Servant Event


July 10 - 17, 2016


Day 1 - Monday, July 11

Team A: Team A did lots in a very little time with the setup modules while Shannon and Jacob started and finished cutting deck boards.

Team B: Team B (the best team) completed a lot.  We took out all the rotten deck boards and replaced them with fresh ones.  All under the watchful eye of the owner Ray and his dog.

Team C: Team C got off to a slow start but made it up by helping Team B towards the end of the day.  They went to look at Betty's deck and started to lay out in their minds the railing.  The leader of Team C unfortunately had to go to work at 2:00 so; Team C went to help out at the site with Team B.

Team D: Team D aka the 'Wasp Killers' did a lot of scraping.  Then they built scaffloding that was 3 stories high and cleared branches that hung over the roof / side of the house, then scraped some more.

Team E: Team E went to see Jim & Rose.  They were very thankful to have someone who would clean their windows and paint their utility room.  At the end of Day 1. all the windows were squeaky clean, thanks to Melinda's quality tools.  There was time left in the day so; the utility room was cleaned and prepped for painting on Day 2.  The wasp invasion was also taken care of due to Gino's brave diligence.

In conclusion it was a rocky morning that eventually lead to some good progress.  We all relaxed at the YMCA pool  this evening.  Even though we were in the "storm shelter" for a tornado warning for half an hour.  This was a new experience for our brothers and sisters from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  While waiting out the storm, the ladies made good use of ther time by painting their nails :)  All in all it was a great day!!! :)

Day 2 - Tuesday, July 12

Great weather for all the sites today!!  Thank you Lord.  We had a lot of progress!!

Finding Joy!

Team A - Chris, Jake, Dave, Shannon, Jerad

Team A started some demolition to kick off a great day of work.  They removed deck boards and then Team C showed up to finish putting in the new deck boards, they also started digging holes and putting in posts for the ramp that is going in tomorrow.  Bob seemed very excited with the progress.

Team B - Gary, Anthony, Maddie, Noah, Ben, Richard

When Team B arrived they had another HUGE tree down. but thank the Lord it missed the deck completely.  They put in deck boards and added metal bracing and started the railing details on the backside of the deck.  Richard had the pleasure of chatting with Ray.  Ray treated the crew to doughnuts. He did some supervising and kept an eye on progress from the tailgate of his truck.  While he was outside we had a couple more visitors.  One of the members of the crew pocket dialed 911, so we had a nice chat with two police officers from the ERPD.

Team C - Gino, Riley, Carol, Val, Simon, Dylan, Austin

Team C split into 2 teams.  Gino and Melinda went to Rose and Jim's house to paint their utility room and had random visits from Rose and Jim.  They were so happy and so amazed by the work that was finished.  The second part of Team C was Val and Carol.  They went to Freida's home to power wash her deck. It took a quick 2 hours.  Then they continued to help Team D with the scraping and painting of Bea's home.

Team D - Dee, Megan, Hannah, Mary Ellen, Jane, Vanessa, Pastor Terry and Sam

Bea our lovely homeowner had a very happy and heartfelt surprise after Carol was pulling the weeds in her garden and a heart shaped rock design emerged.  The rocks were from all of Kenny and Bea's travels together.  Team D also worked on scraping and priming the house.  Most of the workers were covered in paint and Pastor Terry kicked the bucket of paint over.  The crew also had some more wasps to deal with and Pastor Terry became the 'Bee Whisperer.'  Bea had a surprise visit from Pat.  They had a very long and fun talk. They also became fast friends and shared many stories.

For Bible study and dinner tonight we went on an adventure to Birch Lake Lutheran Camp.  We had a wonderful barbeque and some much needed time in the water.  Dave and Val were nice enough to let us use their boat and jet ski!  Our Bible study tonight covered more from Phillipians and how our troubles and trails are a part of life, however, when we turn to God during these trials we find TRUE JOY.

A special thank you to everyone who is helping out with food and errands for supplies and such.  It definitely takes a village to have a successful week!!  We are so very blessed with an Amazing Village!! 

Day 3 - Wednesday, July 13

Team A: Chris, Shannon, Dave, Jake, Jerad - They added more sections to the ramp that they are working on.  There was a snag with a tree placement but that is something they will address today.

Team B: Gary, Anthony, Maddie, Noah - Team B had a slight miscalculation on one of the sides of their deck.  They still finished all but one side besides the slight error.  They also worked around a tree being cut up in the middle of their site due to the winds on Monday night.

Team C: Riley, Simon, Austin, - Team C finished  up at Betty's with all the sanding and weed whipping.  Next, we finished the roof on the trailer and had a great conversation with Eric.  Then we helped Team B laying deck boards and helped clean up the tree.  The other half of Team C went back to Frieda's to start her deck.

Team D: Megan, Hannah, Carol, Pastor Terry, Judy B. Melinda, Dee, Mary Ellen, Jane and Vanessa - got all of the priming done on the house, and moved on to paint.  We worked more on the garden, and it is coming along beautifully.  We also took a trip to Team B and chatted with Ray as well as checking over Team B's work and gave them a helping hand.

We had a pasta dinner, went to Feed My Starving Children and packed 35 boxes -792 meals in total.  It was a great experience felt by all!

1234 . . .We are the hands  and feet of the Lord! 5678 . . Don't you think that's really great?

Day 4 - Thursday, July 14

Team A - Today Chris, Dave, Jerad, Shannon and Jake finally finished laying out the foundation for the new ramp at Bob's house, and made a lot of headway laying the decking boards on top of the finished foundation.  With only a little bit of decking and set up of the railings left, the team got a chance to talk to Bob and take a picture with him on his almost finished deck and ramp.  Luckily the rain held off for most of the day; however it marked a swift cleanup and end to the day for the team.

Team B - Team B made up of Anthony, Noah, Maddie, Gary and Kayla reached the end of their prescheduled work and finished up the decking and railing project for Ray.  They plan to return tomorrow morning to do the last bit of sprucing up and to say their goodbyes to Ray.

Team C - Today Dillain, Simon, Sam, Riley and Austin finished pulling off the shingles and putting on new shingles for the roof of the shed at Roise's house.  Later in the day Lonnie joined to help out also, while Rose baked chocolate chip cookies, powdered sugar donut holes, and other delicious goodies for her workers.  Austin and Rose really bonded and spent a lot of time talking and sharing stories.

Team D - Led by Dee and made up of Jane, Mary Ellen,Vanessa and Hannah have been working on Bea's house painting the front porch amd working on the trim of the house.  They finished up all of the primer and they got three sides completely painted.  Megan's parents joined and helped to remove the styrofoam from around the house, while Melissa, Melanie, Judy B. Melinda and Pastor Terry, joined to help out on painting the house and working in the garden.

Team E - Gino, Ben, and Val went to Frieda's home to finish staining spindles for the railing and to trim low overhanging branches of the tree by her deck; however, they didn't get to painting the deck because of the rain.  Instead they continued on to help out at Team D's location, painting Bea's house.

At the end of the night all of the groups reconvened at the church to enjoy sloppy joes made by Paul & Norine and share songs led by Levi and Bible study led by Craig.  Then all the groups piled into vans and headed to Maple Grove to play Whirly Ball together.

The day was good just as the Lord had planned.  He tested us a little bit at our sites, and gave us a few troubles here and there.  However, we had a fantastic day!

God is good! 

Mission Trip Wrap-up

All for the Glory of God!!! We hosted our 1st ever work week. This servant event really tested us in putting all of our trust in God and as always he came through with flying colors. We had to move forward obtaining funds, jobs and participants not knowing how much of each would be required. Although we didn’t get a huge out of state response (4 from NJ and 1 from Iowa), we did have our local congregation rally and respond. We had 31 workers on the job sites and were able to complete 8 projects. Due to the generosity of our congregation, local businesses, Thrivent, Missouri Synod and Lutheran Church Extension Funds, the servant event was completed without having to request any Endowment Committee Funds or using Youth Fundraising funds. This leaves us with a strong balance going forward for future mission work.


A huge thank-you to all that made this week possible. It takes the entire congregation and many prayers to pull an event like this off. Norine B. headed up the food committee and everyone was well nourished. We were never hungry!! The kitchen was skillfully manned by Paul and Norine B., Jim and Judy B., Bob and Laverne K., Ken and Kathy O., John and Melinda G., George and Monie V., Kayla L. and Karen C.and Dave and Val J.. Thank you to Kathy and Jim R. for preparing a delicious breakfast for us each morning. I am sure I am missing names of others that helped in the kitchen and I apologize in advance.


A special thank you to Craig H.and Levi H.. Craig provided us Spiritual Leadership, helping us to remember that everything we do is for the Glory of God and true joy is only found in Christ. More important than the physical projects we were completing was the relationships we were building for Christ. We studied the book of Phillipians and saw thru Paul’s eyes where true joy is found and difficulties and trials are all part of God’s plan for us. Levi led the praise band and provided worship thru music. He was accompanied by Noah on drum and Hannah and Vanessa on vocals.


The entire work group was so supportive of each other and was like one big happy family. We worked hard and played hard together. On Monday night we went to the YMCA (thanks to Dave) and played in the pool. We also had the experience of spending 45 minutes in the locker rooms due to tornado warnings. Kind of scary. On Tuesday we had a barbeque and bible study around the campfire at Birch Lake Camp. On Wednesday we packed food at ‚ÄúFeed my Starving Children‚ÄĚ. Thanks to Megan for having her entire extended family come to help so we could fill our reserved spots. On Thursday we played Whirlyball. Who knew Gino is so competitive? On Friday we had a pizza party and free night. Finally on Saturday we had a great time at the parade and then at Monie and George‚Äôs house on the lake. Originally we were supposed to go tubing on the Rum River on Sat but due to high waters the river was closed to recreational activity. Special thanks to Dave and Val for allowing us to use their boat and jet ski for tubing and water skiing on Tuesday and Saturday. This was a new experience for many of our guests.


This week won’t be possible without all of your support and prayers. It also required strong leadership which we had from Megan G.and Chris L.. They really went above and beyond keeping us on schedule and tracking expenses.


Our final celebration on Sunday was well attended. We had 5 of the 8 recipients in attendance. This included 2 families not from our congregation. Ray, a WWII veteran who received a new deck, stood up and complimented his crew on the love they showed each other and on how well they worked together. We received thank-you notes and donations from 2 other recipients. Marcia expressed how pleased her mother was and what a difference the work made on her daily outlook on life. We truly were the hands and feet of Christ. People in the community also took notice of the good works Emmanuel was doing. There was a post on facebook that said this church really knows what it means to help the community. Another text message asked ‚Äúwhat is going on at Emmanuel. I see many people working together‚ÄĚ. Finally someone driving past Bea‚Äôs house yelled out the window ‚Äúwe love what you guys have done, the work looks beautiful‚ÄĚ. This is the kind of positive publicity we hoped to get from this week and thanks to all of you it was possible. Thanks.


Feed My Starving Children Pack Event


At this event, in the span of a couple hours 100,000 meals can be packaged.  They are then sent to people in need around the world. Having the opportunity to help deepens awareness of the lives of others and fosters a spirit of thankfulness for how very much we are blessed. We work hard, but have a lot of fun doing it. It is an incredible feeling to be a part of an effort of this magnitude. It is a means by which we can serve as the hands and feet of Jesus!

CAER (Community Assistance Elk River)


Volunteers are truly the backbone of our organization. Our volunteers  assist with food distribution,  sorting and organizing donations such as food and clothing, and other special projects throughout the year. During food drives our volunteer needs can increase dramatically.

Volunteers make all the difference to our neighbors in need! If you are interested in volunteering - or contact CAER @ 763-441-1020

Great River Family Promise


Family Promise Mission

Building partnerships throughout our communities to support children and families

experiencing homelessness to achieve sustainable independence.

Description of Family Promise

Great River Family Promise is an affiliate of Family Promise. A network that includes thirteen houses of worship and engages between 800 ‚Äď 1000 community volunteers each year. Host congregations provide overnight shelter, meals, and hospitality for up to four families for one week every four months on a rotating basis.

Family Promise builds networks using existing resources as much as possible to maximize local community support and funding.  If parents do not have a job, they work with staff at the Day Center to seek employment, housing, and other resources.

The Day Center has computers, phones, fax, etc. to help families in their plan. They also have a playroom for children not in school.

Families also shower, do laundry and get ready for the day at the Day Center.

Volunteers Are Needed At Host Churches

Some ways you can help:

- Set-up of family rooms

- Providing, serving and clean up of evening meals

- Providing, serving and clean up of Saturday breakfast

- Evening Hosts

- Overnight Hosts

If you have questions please, speak with Chris W. or Pastor.

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you are serving the Lord,

not people, because you know the Lord will reward

each one of you for whatever good you do. 

Ephesians 6:7-8