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Preparing A Way In The Wilderness To Your Community


Pastor Dan Cramer

Zion Christian Church, Pennsylvania 

God sees your Kingdom advancements and, no matter where your church is located, He sees an uncharted wilderness. There are people bound in this wilderness. They cannot come to you. They need a pathway blazed to them.

In our church’s first year, we took blankets, socks, gloves, and Bibles to homeless people living under bridges in the Pennsylvania winter. Since then, we have worked to always have a pioneer mission outside of our congregation. For 25 years we have had a prison ministry, and for 16 years we have had a large food pantry in Pittsburgh. 

We had a Youth Center, a weekend coffee house, a weekday after-school center, and daily hot meals. The coffee shop served everything you could find at Starbucks for a very low price, with ten computers and filtered internet access that would send people trying to access porn to Billy Graham’s website. We had more one-on-one witnessing opportunities there than the rest of our years combined.

We could not afford to do any of that. We found strategic partners with funds who were interested in the same objectives. I am talking about grant-giving foundations, as well as organizations and individuals who fund specific projects that help specific people. 

Bhutanese refugees settled around us, having experienced the unthinkable. These were Hindu and Buddhist people who came with nothing, knowing little English, who had no transferable job skills. Through strategic partnerships, we provided food, clothing, bought prescriptions, put around 800 pieces of furniture in homes, and much more. We gave them the New Testament in their language and showed evangelistic movies in the open air. We saw miracles when we prayed for them. In return, they gave us their love and sent their children to our Sunday School in large numbers. We were the first to teach them about Jesus. 

We have outreaches to the professional community from India here in Pittsburgh. Last summer, we did two weeks of open-air Kids’ Clubs and a picnic with hot food and games with Pastor Doug Allen and Living Hope Church, as well as other strategic partners. 200 to 400 came to the Kids’ Clubs daily, and over 700 came to the cookout.

There is an uncharted wilderness around you. There are people you have never met. Learn who is there, and prayerfully strategize how to build the road to them. Research the Grant Community if you cannot afford to do it yourself. God sees them. And you just might be the one to reach them.

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