Greentree invites community to join in the activities
Members of Greentree Christian Church hope the community will join them in a Harvest of Talents Saturday that will raise money to send to a faith-based international relief organization.
"We're just trying to make a difference for hungry people around the world ," said Kelly Robinson, who is chairing the event.
The Harvest of Talents will start with a 5K walk/run and continue throughout the morning with breakfast, a craft sale, bake sale, a petting zoo, face painting, cake decorating for kids, kids' races and a sports trivia contest. There will also be an auction of people's talents.
What does that mean?
"It's a way for you to use your talents to bless others" Robinson explained.
For instance, someone who likes to take pictures might create some beautiful art with a camera and donate that picture or group of pictures to the Harvest of Talents for sale.
Other artists paint, make quilts, or donate some other talent. That includes business and professional people who donate services or goods for sale.
"A lawyer is donating a few hours of legal services," she said. "A doctor is offering a sports physical." Teen-agers offer babysitting time.
There will actually be two auctions.
One will be an auction of gift baskets put together by small groups in the church, such as a basket of office supplies, a basket of coffees and a coffee machine, along with a selection of the "talents."
The rest of the "talents" will be in a silent auction goes on throughout the day.
The talents are varied but the goal is not. The goal, simply, is to raise as much money as possible for an organization called IDES.
Last year, the "harvest" amounted to more than $18,000 for IDES, Robinson said.
"That money, 100 percent of it goes to the International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES).
IDES works with people in countries with drought, famine, and natural disasters. They work with people in the country by distributing funds to the local missionaries and pastors who live in the country and have a heart for the people.
For instance, a missionary in the Ivory Coast was working with a family with AIDS that needed an income.
IDES helped. "They set up a chicken farm for a sustainable income," Robinson said.
IDES also digs wells, helps with hunger relief and works all around the world to help alleviate immediate needs and also offer long-term solutions to problems.
"They've been working with Joplin since the tornado and are still there helping rebuild houses," Robinson said.
She and her husband, Scott, missions and outreach minister at Greentree church, fashioned the Harvest of Talents from a similar event in another church.
"They've had their harvest for 29 years and have raised over $2 million," Robinson said.
The Robinsons started a similar event in Iowa after serving overseas for several years and then worked with Greentree to start the Harvest of Talents last year after moving to Rolla.
Asked if the church set a goal for this year, she said, "No. The Lord is just going to bless us."
She said the IDES is affiliated with independent Christian churches and while much of the work done by the organization is to feed people and help them sustain their lives, the organization also teaches people about Jesus.
"You can't tell people about Jesus unless you help them first," Robinson said.
That's why IDES partners with missionaries and pastors who are in the country being helped. They're already there preaching and teaching about Christ as Savior, and IDES adds help.
"They're enablers," she said of IDES.