Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Texas Church Collecting Shoes this Week

As seen in TheFacts.com

Well-heeled worshippers at Hope Fellowship Church in Lake Jackson, TX are being asked to step out of their Sunday best to support Soles4Souls’ National Barefoot Week campaign.

The Hope Fellowship congregation will accept donations of new and gently used footwear this week, culminating in the Sunday service, when Senior Pastor Mark Swirsky will invite his church community to leave their shoes behind.

“It’s a reality that most Americans have many pairs of shoes, but many people in world don’t even have one pair,” Swirsky said.

Nashville-based Soles4Souls donates footwear to needy people in the United States and abroad, and since its inception in 2004, has shoed more than 3 million people worldwide.

Swirsky decided to back the project after reading about the threat of puncture wounds and hook worm infection that many shoeless people in developing nations face.

“Giving used shoes is something that’s so easy to do, and it meets a big need,” Swirsky said. “We’re just asking people to clean out their closets.”

Organizers are hoping to draw donations from across the community of every kind of shoe, from gently worn high heels to trainers.

"It’s just one way to be a light in the community,” Youth Pastor Johnathan Sublet said of the shoe drives. “God depends on us to share what He has given.”

Sublet tries to teach the young people of the congregation that mission work is not just an occasional, week-long push, but a way of life.

“Missions is a lifestyle choice,” he said. “There are many opportunities all around us every day to help if we’ll only use our senses and listen.”

Donations can be made at Hope Fellowship Church, 200 Lake Road in Lake Jackson, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through June 5, or at 10:50 a.m. at the June 8 worship service.

-Meredith Amos

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