Meeting needs in the community should be part of a church’s DNA.

On a cloudy Saturday in April, more than 30 Resonate Villages gave their time to make that true in an event called Serve the Palouse. These small groups of people in our church banded together to work on approximately 24 different projects, ranging from painting over graffiti to planting trees.

Serve the Palouse was part of an effort to establish relationships with the cities of Moscow and Pullman so they know we are available to meet any needs that arise. Our hope is that we would be a blessing to our communities and that our lives would point to Christ.

Drew Schuldt, Natural Resource Coordinator for the Palouse Conservation District, oversaw a project two Villages and other volunteers worked on that involved planting trees along the Chipman Trail between Moscow and Pullman. The goal of this project was to establish more native plants near waterways to improve water quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and stop erosion. They have volunteer events every spring and fall.

“It gets people out there doing things, and it helps us a lot,” Schuldt said.

He said it’s important for people to show ownership of the place where they live.

“It helps you grow in your maturity to take responsibility for something that needs to be done,” said Jacob Newbold, a Villager who participated in the project. “Being selfless with your time and activities to put time toward something greater than yourself—it’s a great testament to God’s love.”

Recent UI graduate Blake Harris went to Tijuana with Resonate over spring break, and he said experiences like that have shown him the importance of helping the community. He was also part of the group who worked to plant trees along the trail.

“What’s really important is just loving people, whether it’s serving like this or giving food to someone who’s sick,” he said.

A Village made up of graduate students spent their time trimming shrubbery along a running path in Pullman. “A church should be actively involved in the community, and this is a way for us to start doing that,” said Village leader JJ Petersen. “For where we are, we can’t really do much financially, but we can all give some time.”

The work we joined in with Serve the Palouse is a work of restoration and bringing hope to our cities. We are called to serve as Christ served. Doing work that involves everything from clearing debris to planting trees is a picture of death and decay being eradicated to make way for restoration and new life, just as we have been given the opportunity to be restored to new life in Christ.