This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:16-18 (NIV)

Acts of Love – Local

Acts of Love began in March 2020 as we began this journey into COVID-19. We opened the doors for an emergency food pantry to help others through this time. As God has allowed us we have continued to navigate and realize that our community needs more and more Acts of Love, and the church, our church should lead the way. These actions and acts will help us to embrace others around us not only with food but in ways that draws them to the life changing love of Jesus Christ. Everyone can be involved even in the simplest ways in Acts of Love, from caring and checking on your neighbor, to serving at the food pantry, to connecting and serving in our community. God has called us for such a time as this to love in actions and in truth.

We will lead others to Christ through our Acts of Love, and we know this love by Christ laying his life down his life for us. We are praying for others to join us as we stand in the gap during this time to share their lives and Acts of Love. Come be a part of Local Missions and Community Outreach through Acts of Love.

Vision Statement

Open to God, open to people, open to the world.

1. Open to God – we are open to be led by His Spirit.

  • Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me. 2 Corinthians 2:12
  • But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

2. Open to people – we are open and want to be extended and ready to speak life into individuals.

  • We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 2 Corinthians 6:11
  • Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

3. Open to the world – we are open and available to go and share the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

  • On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. Acts 14:27
  • Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Missions and Community Outreach Team

René Maciel-Missions and Community Outreach Pastor;
rmacie@firstwoodway.org
Mark Tate-International and Stateside Missions;
mtate@firstwoodway.org
Case Smith-Director of Recreation/MAC;
csmith@firstwoodway.org
Lynn Brooks-Administrative Assistant;
lbrooks@firstwoodway.org
Sherrie Anderson-Missions Associate;
Sanderson@firstwoodway.org
Paige Shellhorse-Missions Associate;
pshellhorse@firstwoodway.org
Brenda Lewis-Given in Jesus’ Name-Coordinator;
cbbhlewis@grandecom.net
Rhonda Jones-Acteens Director;
rhondajones2@hotmail.com

What’s Happening Now

Acts of Love – Church Under the Bridge Breakfast | Sunday, October 4
On Sunday, October 4, Missions will be headed to Church Under the Bridge at Magnolia Press. We will serve breakfast at 9:30 am and then stay for the service. Come join us as we serve our community through this Act of Love. Sign up on VOMO.

A Day for Acts of Love | Saturday, October 10 at 8:30 am 
Come share Acts of Love with our community. We will meet at the church at 8:30 am for a light breakfast and prayer before we head out into the community and proclaim the reason for the hope we have in Christ. Through words of kindness and acts of love we want to share hope with others on this day. Choose a person or a place to go to: your neighbors, a friend, a local store, a city park, or even a coffee shop. We will be praying for God to go before us as we serve and love others. Bring your family or bring a friend and join us as we share Acts of Love with others. We will meet back at 11:30 am to have lunch and to share testimonies.

Luke 9:2 “and he sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal.”

Celebración de la Herencia Hispana – Evening at the Grove | Sunday, October 18
Celebración de la Herencia Hispana will be a celebration recognizing and honoring the Hispanic Heritage in Viento Fuerte Church, in Waco and in our country. This will be a safe distancing dinner on Sunday, October 18 at 5:30 pm at The Grove on campus. Come bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the fellowship, food, and music (all while physically distancing) or feel free to pick up your food to go and take home. We thank God for cultures and ethnicities in and around our church.

Given in Jesus’ Name Food Pantry | Shifts: Tuesday and Thursday
Looking for volunteers! We need volunteers to run errands, receive and sanitize food that has been contributed, and give away donated food bags at the west doors of the main foyer. Want to serve! Contact us: René Maciel at rmaciel@firstwoodway.org or Lynn Brooks at lbrooks@firstwoodway.org.

Given in Jesus’ Name Food Pantry List
Every week we feed families from all over Central. We need your help in keeping our food pantry stocked. Please click here for a list of current food items needed.

Caritas of Waco | Every 2nd and 4th Thursday
We minister in the welcome areas at Caritas every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 9:00-11:00 am. We are needing volunteers from First Woodway to help us. We will engage in conversations and pray with those who come to Caritas seeking help. We hope that these conversations and opportunities to pray with others will lead to sharing the gospel with many. The harvest is ripe to feed and share the gospel. Contact René for more details at rmaciel@firstwoodway.org.

Park Ministry Team | Led by Case Smith
Meets once a month: 8 am to 11 am
We will send a First Woodway group to meet at a local community parks and hand out drinks, snacks, and possibly offer other games/equipment. The goal is simply connect and encourage people. Contact Case Smith at csmith@firstwoodway.org for more details

Connect with us on Facebook

Apartments Cookouts 
Contact: René Maciel
Several times a year, we fire up the grill and spend a Sunday evening cooking out for a local apartment complex and getting to know others in our community. We provide hamburgers, hotdogs, and chips for the residents. Come and enjoy the food, the fellowship, and conversation with others.

Caritas of Waco
Contact: René Maciel
We minister in the welcome areas at Caritas every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 9:00-11:00 am. We will engage in conversations and pray with those who come to Caritas seeking help. We hope that these conversations and opportunities to pray with others will lead to sharing the gospel with many. The harvest is ripe to feed and share the gospel. While there we also assist with sorting and packaging food items as well as distributing groceries.

God’s Toolbox
Contact: René Maciel
God’s Toolbox’s primary focus is to care for, share with, and serve others through home repair projects. They assist the elderly, people of low income, and the disabled, enabling them to live in warmth, safety and independence.

Light in the Gap
Contact: Donna Burney 
Light in the Gap is a ministry to women exiting prison. Every weekend day, women from our church go to the Waco bus station to greet women exiting prison. We This ministry provides hygiene kits and snack packs as well as prayer for these women. If you would like to be part of this ministry by serving (packing, baking, sewing) or by providing monetary donations, please contact Donna Burney or Doris King.

Prison Ministry
Contact: Betty at 254.744.3679
Men and women from the First Woodway family travel to the Gatesville women’s prison on Monday nights where they spend time with female inmates… sharing wisdom, providing encouragement, and praying together. Try visiting  a couple times to see if this ministry is a fit for you.

Wednesday Night Saints
Contact:  Ken & Wanda Glaze  (or call 254.666.8276)
Each Wednesday night during the school year, 30-40 people receive a warm meal along with a hug and a prayer. These homebound families love the conversation time the most, just knowing someone cares about them. Call and see how you can spend one hour each week to help deliver a meal to someone who is hurting and alone.  Learn more about ways you can serve here.

Caritas of Waco
Caritas of Waco is a non-profit organization that was opened in 1967 to serve the needs of poverty-level individuals living in the Waco-McLennan County area. The mission of Caritas is to “provide urgent support to people in need in our community.” This is accomplished by offering emergency/supplemental assistance in the form of food, clothing and household items, utility assistance, prescription medication assistance, rent and mortgage assistance, emergency lodging and travel. The philosophy of Caritas is to move low income families “beyond hunger to hope” through a combination of urgent assistance (e.g., food) and the case management intervention. Caritas is effectively placing many individuals into employment positions and into vocational training programs through it case management program.

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