The Manawa Faith Community is an outreach of Salem United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs. Located in a highly transient area where most residents live in rented housing, the ministry faces drug abuse and child neglect in their community each day. Yet, their pastor Daniel Grauer writes, “We have made significant progress in addressing social behaviors . . . and spiritual care” of the persons we serve.
One family of five, for example, struggles with alcoholism, and the young adults in the household have learning disabilities. The 25-year-old son has attended youth activities, but gaining his trust has been a big challenge. In the last three years he hadn’t spoken a complete sentence. During a church-sponsored Christmas party last December, he brought tears to the eyes of one adult volunteer when he asked, “Where would you like these (gifts for young children to go)?” It was a moment to treasure. They were making a difference in his life.
On the Manawa Faith Community Facebook page, visitors read their message: “We don’t care about your past, your race, culture, or status. We DO care about your personal relationship with God.” Their ministry is supported in part by a Matthew 25 grant from the Southwest District, which is funded through apportionment gifts from the United Methodist churches of Iowa.