Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Irving — The holiday season is in full swing, and with it, a feeling of gratitude to be able to serve.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, churches in Irving served meals to individuals and families.

“Every year [Irving Bible Church has] a Thanksgiving breakfast,” Rodney Smith of Irving Bible Church said. “We’ve been doing this for 14 years now. I started doing this breakfast for people like me who move here from other states and have no family here. I moved here from Michigan.

“Being alone for Thanksgiving is not good. We have this for people who don’t have some place to go for dinner. They can come here for breakfast and enjoy fellowship with one another.”

Oak View Baptist Church served Thanksgiving lunches around the city through its Serving Irving event.

“Everything is a hot meal,” Wes Pyfer, Oak View Baptist Church volunteer, said. “They get turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, hot rolls and pie for dessert.

“We hope some of people see how important it is for our church to help people and our community and the love of Christ for through what we do. [Serving Irving] is a ministry that has been going on for 25 years. We’re expected to serve about 2,500 total meals this year.”

The volunteers also receive something from serving. Roy Soto, Serving Irving organizer, said he takes away ‘peace and joy’ from the experience

“A joy and strength that we can communicate to the people that God is real, that God exists, that God is still here even in the tough times. [Our new volunteers] will experience how their lives will be transformed,” Soto said. “You’ll see kids and families that don’t have meals. They really see God’s grace. We use material matters but talk about spiritual matters.

“It’s been a great thing to experience, personally. [The church] put me in charge five years ago. My family is all involved. My daughter said she wanted to lead and is serving in a place where she’ll serve 400 meals.”

Volunteers range from single adults to families with children of all ages.

“We see families being transformed since the times they’ve been serving,” Soto said. “It’s a joy when you give and serve.”

“Little kids get so enthusiastic about serving other kids,” Pyfer said. “Many of the [kids] here will serve throughout high school and [even when they start families].”

“It’s nice to be able to reach out and help people in the community and bring [my] kids,” Caleb Harrison, volunteer, said. “[I hope my kids] learn how rewarding it can be to serve and to reach out to people in the community. This is something [my family] plans to continue participating in.”