Twin Lakes Church Raises One Million Meals, Donates Orphanage Building, Funds Education Center
Story By Noel Smith • Photos By Jamie Rom
On Sunday December 1, Pastor René Schlaepfer announced that church members have provided food and donations equivalent to over 1,000,000 meals in their response to Second Harvest’s annual Holiday Food Drive. The food donated to Second Harvest actually amounted to 28 percent more than their record-breaking 2012 Food Drive.
“It’s astounding,” remarked Willy Eliot-McCrea, director of Second Harvest. “To put what this church has done into perspective: This year the Subway chain is donating one million meals to Feeding America, the national food bank organization. That’s awesome. But that’s the biggest food chain in the world. The same amount was just given by a church in Aptos.”
This amazing response took place even though there were two other projects that the congregation had been asked to consider in their giving during the church’s 2020 Vision Building Campaign. The Campaign asked for monetary pledges from the members of Twin Lakes Church to fund two building projects by the year 2020.
The first of the building projects was a financial pledge to completely fund the community service center at Little Flock Children’s Home near Chennai, India, which will include a medical clinic, library, vocational training classrooms, and more. Little Flock Children’s Home is where orphaned children can receive shelter, food, medical treatment and educational opportunities. In India, there are more than 2 million orphans who struggle just to survive. Every child who comes to live at Little Flock is a child who is rescued from a life of grinding poverty or exploitation.
Checks were presented this past weekend to representatives of Second Harvest Food Bank – County Supervisors Bruce McPherson & Zach Friend, and Santa Cruz Mayor Hillary Bryant –and Little Flock Children’s Homes founder Dr. Viji Cammauf.
The third project is the most far reaching… and will take place right here in Santa Cruz County. It will consist of three new buildings and the renovation and modification of other existing buildings on the TLC campus. These new and renovated spaces will be dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for all ages from pre-school, to elementary and middle school to adult classes. The Twin Lakes 2020 Vision consists of a new building for elementary school age children, a new building for the college ministry, the new Kraft Chapel for weddings and memorials and converting the present gym to classrooms for middle school.
According to senior pastor René Schlaepfer, “This is the biggest goal we’ve ever had as a church. All three projects together added up to over $10 million dollars in pledges that we were hoping and praying for. I honestly did not know if we would be able to do it, but we all thought this was a worthy goal.”
For seven weeks, the church held the pledge drive. Last Sunday it was announced that church members had donated and pledged funds totaling $10,380,000, which enabled the church to meet its 2020 Vision goals. Even the children and young people got involved by donating over $10,000 collected in their piggy banks and Pringle cans.
Pastor Schlaepfer said, “All three projects are about spreading the love God has lavished on us to others.”