GLENN SCHMEKEL LIKED WHAT HE SAW IN ARGENTINA. Having come for Harvest Evangelism's annual conference, he basked in the faith-filled atmosphere that highlighted testimonies of God's power bringing good news to the broken and the captives, who in turn were forcing their way into the kingdom. It was the sort of extraordinary world Glenn had craved and knew he would live for. Then it was time to come back home.
It was 1997. Glenn walked his rural property in the Methow Valley of north-central Washington State, a world away from the spiritual impact in Argentina he had just left. As he walked, he opened up to God about what he had witnessed and asked Him to do it locally. Then, a response came directly to his heart: "You want to see the Harvest, but have you planted any seeds that could grow up into the harvest? Or are you just wishing and hoping and praying? Do something. The Kingdom is 'good news' to the poor."
The palpable response spurred Glenn to action. He knew his community had a large segment of poor, elderly and needy that he could help, yet he wanted also to know them and their personal stories, to pray for them and help the Methow Valley weave them back into the community. He wanted spirits lifted as much as stomachs filled.
Glenn secured a storefront in the middle of town and set it up with a coffee shop atmosphere that encouraged people to linger and enjoy the company of others. Word spread and food donations began to flow. People in need came, discovering a safe harbor and welcoming peers. It was the birth of The Cove.
Today, The Cove staffs 30 volunteers who serve an average of 3,560 free meals per year and demonstrate God's tangible love in multiple expressions: an "aid and assistance" fund that helps people get back on their feet; "Guardian Angel" teams who visit their elderly or disabled neighbors to build relationship and do practical things like shuttle service to doctor appointments; and a seniors family home, "Jamie's Place", for elders who can no longer stay in their own home. Wrapped into all these practical services is prayer that puts the assisted parties into direct contact with God's presence.
An additional and highly significant layer to the Schmekel's incredible efforts centers around Glenn and his wife Carolyn's realization that another community needed to be reached out to: descendents of the Native Methow Indian Tribe who had long since been driven out of their homeland. In response, Carolyn and Glenn started the Heart of Methow Pow-Wow to facilitate understanding, reconciliation and restoration of honor to the Methow Tribe. The effort has culminated in the Methow Valley Interpretive Center, a place that gives honor and recognition to the tribe and its descendents, an effort captured in the moving documentary Two Rivers.
Do you like what God is doing in other places and wish the same for your own community? If so, then join Glenn and Carolyn and do something! Come to the same conference that was their catalyst in 1997 and let it be yours as well. Partner financially with Harvest Evangelism and watch your finances seed transformation. And most important, follow Glenn's example and talk with the Lord. He will show you what form the "good news" will take in your community.