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Chesterfield church continues to serve Thanksgiving feast after bus was vandalized

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:24 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:51 PM EST
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A Chesterfield church continues its mission of delivering hope to the community after holding its annual Thanksgiving dinner despite the church’s bus being destroyed last month.

In October, Mountain Movers Ministries (M3 Church) had every single window on its activity bus destroyed overnight in the church’s parking lot. The bus plays a vital role in the church being active outside its four walls and providing to underserved communities.

The church needed the bus, especially in November, for its annual Thanksgiving dinner, where they serve more than 150 people a free Thanksgiving feast.

Rather than be angry, Pastor Wade Runge said he didn’t want to press any charges against whoever did in but instead invited them to church, saying he would help them through whatever issues they may be going through.

Its Runge’s act of kindness that communities saw from across the world and wanted to help.

“This message has been going across the world and around the globe, just about being reminded about God’s grace because you can’t give what you haven’t received,” Runge said.

Since then, the church has received donations from places like Australia and Canada to help rebuild the bus, but one of the most significant donations came from just down the road.

“In the midst of this, while it looked so bad, people have rose up and shown us generosity in the spirit of Thanksgiving with Budget Glass off of Hull Street; they are fixing our bus windows and windshield for free,” Runge said.

Having the bus back up will allow M3 Church to pick up homeless veterans again, be an outlet for kids in the city, and provide a seat at a dinner table for everyone on a day like Thanksgiving.

With help from about 50 volunteers and using vans from other community organizations, M3 Church could still have its Thanksgiving feast after all.

“Today, we’re going to feed more than 150 people, but we’ll probably have enough food for about 300 because we’re actually going to distribute the meals that are leftover,” Runge said.

Runge hopes the bus work will be completed by next month in time for the church’s next giving program, where they plan to deliver toys to 500 kids across Central Virginia.

Any donation left or given to the church for the bus will be used to update its interior.

“One of the things I’m thankful for is you and Channel 12 and getting the message out because what looked like a bad situation has now been turned around for our good,” Runge said.

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