Every year, Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana shuts its doors, cancels its services and sends its congregation out to do service projects all over the city.  This year, World Next Door sent a team of volunteer journalists from Grace’s congregation to tell some of the stories from the weekend.

This is one of those stories.

To read all of the Weekend of Service articles from 2010, click here.


Foot Washing, New Shoes & Prayer

Written by Erika Vance

Lighthouse Center

We met together on a crisp November morning, making our way to Lighthouse Men’s Mission in Indianapolis as a team.

The shoes brought by Samaritan's feet sorted in piles by sizes.

Lighthouse provides shelter, food and clothing to homeless men in Indianapolis. Though it is only twenty five minutes from where I live, Lighthouse is not part of my world.  I cannot even comprehend what life is like there.   It is so different from the nice neighborhood I live in back home. I did not realize until that day that things were so different so close to home.

Upon entering Lighthouse, I found it full of my fellow church members, there to do what they could to make a difference.  Samaritan’s Feet helped us serve the men of Lighthouse through washing their feet and giving them new shoes.  This simple act of giving these men shoes makes a huge difference in their everyday life.  On the most basic level it helps them keep or get jobs and it helps them to keep warm on these cold days.

Soap donated by a hotel to Samaritan's Feet for the foot washing.

The woman from Samaritan Feet told the story of their fonder, Emmanuel Ohonme.  He grew up in Nigeria and did not receive his first pair of shoes until the age of nine, when a missionary came to the area.  As he grew older, Emmanuel was able to come to America, receive an education and start a family.  On a trip back to his village, however, he realized that none of the children had shoes.  So he started Samaritan’s Feet to help bring shoes and the word of God to people around the world.

These shoes help children to go to school.  They also help them to stay healthy by better controlling diseases that they can pick up by walking around barefoot.

Preparing to wash feet

We prayed as a group and then welcome the men in to receive their shoes.  We washed their feet, gave them new shoes and socks and prayed over them.

The room filled with men who eat many of their meals at Lighthouse.  Some men even spend the night.  These men are homeless, but are trying to get off the streets.  Some of them have struggled with drugs.  It was amazing to hear them talking to the people that were there to help them.  They were encouraging us, even as we prayed for them.

I talked to one young man from Grace who serves dinner for the men at Lighthouse every Sunday night with his family.  He told me that the conversations he has with the men at Lighthouse are far deeper and more personal than conversations he has with his friends at school.    The men freely and openly share with him.

Ginger praying with one of the men after washing his feet and giving him new shoes.

They also often make a point to tell any young people that come to help out to stay off the street, to stay in school and not allow themselves to be distracted by drugs and street life.  They want these kids to have better lives than the ones they live.

I could feel God move through Lighthouse.  Connections were made between people who would have never met otherwise.  Prayers were lifted up to the Lord.  It was so clear that you cannot wash someone’s feet and not get to know them.

I heard the story of one man who had been living on the street for several years.  He had recently been beaten into coma which lasted over six weeks.  The beating was over two dollars.  It was amazing to hear his story and to have him with us so that we could serve him in the simple but important way of providing him with new shoes.

These are just a few stories of lives being impacted at Lighthouse through people that volunteer there.

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Next Steps
    • Would you like to volunteer at Lighthouse Mission? Call their office at (317)636-0209 for more information.
    • If you’d like to donate to the mission of Samaritan’s Feet, visit their website.
    • Pray for the homeless in your city. Pray that they, too, would find a place of hope like Lighthouse.
    Next Steps

About the Author: Every year, Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana shuts its doors, cancels its services and sends its congregation out to do service projects all over the city. This team of volunteer journalists from Grace’s congregation told some of the stories from the weekend.

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  1. Pam Orr said... 


    November 13th, 2010 at 11:28 am  

    I was at the foot wash here. It was so humbling and an awesome experience for me. I have been serving each week at light house and so I know many of the men here. It was awesome to be Christ with skin for a while and sit at their feet, hear their stories, give them new shoes & socks and pray for them. A few of the things that really touched my heart is that a few of the guys, when I asked if there was something specific I could pray for them, their prayer request was for someone else and not themselves! I thought, wow, here this man is, living under a bridge and he wants me to pray for someone else! Amazing! You see these men are Gods people and they have real hearts!! Another man, after me on my knees in prayer with him and I was starting to get up, he grabbed my hands. He then started to pray to God for me! Thanking him for my serving and then for all of us in the room! My heart melted. You see, the guys seen us serving them as I felt them serving me! This was such an awesome experience for me! One that I plan to do each time I get the oppotunity! Thank you Good Samaritian feet and thank you Grace for each year giving me the opportunity to attend the weekend of service. Each year I am able to find another place of service that fits right into my heart and my calling to further Gods Kingdom!

  2. Jim.M said... 


    November 13th, 2010 at 10:24 pm  

    Tonight at the Frontline Expo at Grace Community Church in Noblesville In., I had several people come up and say how much this story had touched them. Thank you Ericka.

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