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Inside/Outside Needy

October 29, 2014

A small boy came to the church many years ago asking for food. He told church members that when he ate lunch at school, he would gather up any seconds he was offered to take home to the rest of his family.

This boy’s life experience raised the awareness of the people of the Fort Madison United Methodist Church about the level of poverty in their community—and their ministry, Inside/Outside Needy, was born. Isla Lachmann stated it succinctly, “A little shall lead them.”

Fort Madison’s unemployment rate tops 7% of the population. They have a regular influx of temporary residents from families of prisoners at the local state prison to contract workers for the new nearby fertilizer plant. Nearly 80% of the children in the public schools receive free or reduced lunch.

A Matthew 25 grant from the Southeast District, made possible by apportionment gifts from United Methodist churches across the state of Iowa, helps to support this ministry. Funds are used to help families with expenses from gasoline for travel to appointments with a doctor to food, clothing, and housing support when the local homeless shelter is full.

The Fort Madison United Methodist Church is a blending of two congregations, First and Santa Fe United Methodist Churches. They continue to be, as their mission statement says, “a caring community offering opportunities for growth.”

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