Oklahoma City Mission Trip 2024 | Update #1

June 4, 2024 | Kathy Smarrella

By Pastor Kathy

After a 5 am departure on Sunday, and an almost 15-hour bus trip, our team made it to the Oklahoma City Center. The City Center is in Warr Acres, OK, a city that is in the OKC metro area and has a high crime rate (more than you’d suspect by just looking at it).

Over breakfast (which was honestly the best breakfast ever on a mission trip!) we had the opportunity to listen to the stories and testimonies of Jed & Julie Chappell, who founded City Center 8 years ago. Both Jed & Julie grew up in less than stellar circumstances and God has miraculously impacted their lives. Their mission and their heart is for this community, especially for the youth. It’s challenging ministry and they are doing a phenomenal job. 

After their testimonies, we spent the morning in a few different ways. Many of the team sorted clothes for the clothes closet that is open 40 hours a week to anyone who wants to come. We watched many people com and go today through those doors. Linda and Lilly spent the morning helping in the kitchen preparing food for our team and the kids that come here in the afternoon. Dalton and I spent some time in the food pantry - that is also open 40 hours a week. We heard that this is one of the weeks where they don’t get a delivery of food and the shelves were pretty much bare. A family of 7 came in and there wasn’t enough food, which was. little heartbreaking. Our team came together and Jeremy, Ivan, Brayden and Tim were able to go out and purchase $800 worth of food for the pantry which will get them through the week! The generosity of our team was both astounding and humbling to me, to Jed & Julie and the team here. Such a beautiful thing to see! 

The afternoon included hanging with some of the kids who come to the center each afternoon—an improvised game of pickleball happened that was fun to see—and then we headed to the OKC Crisis Nursery. This ministry fills the needs for countless children and families who need diapers, clothes, supplies, almost anything you can think of for kids and babies. . . And they also take in kids and babies in emergency situations. It’s a HUGE ministry that was a new thing for me to witness. The home in which it is housed gets hundreds of Amazon packages a week with people donating—so much so that when a bunch of kids are in their care (which was the case the last two weeks), it becomes overwhelming. Our team spent 3 hours and were able to get so much of these supplies organized! It was crazy how much there was and this team worked hard to make the home more liveable and ministry more do-able. 

We had pizza together, got the opportunity to pray for Jen, who runs the Crisis Nursery and then came back to the center to share our happies and crappies for the day. 

Wow, it has been a great first day. This team is amazing—our Vineyard folks continually surprise and delight me on mission trips. God is moving and he is working in them and through them. How fun to get to witness! 

We appreciate your prayers for the rest of the week! 


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