By Sarah Turner
Parker had a full plate with upper level classes at Iowa State this year, but even school couldn’t keep him away from joining in on what God’s been up to in Fort Dodge. Parker’s grandparents, who are Cedar Falls Campus members, encouraged him to check out the new campus in his hometown. Before heading back to college, he helped with the remodeling and worked alongside staff and other volunteers to set up the Fort Dodge Campus. From this close-range view, Parker started to see how PLC’s teaching, staff and the God behind it could impact the people of Fort Dodge he was already invested in. Hope was stirring in new ways, and he was excited to be part of it.
Later, after his classes had started, the Fort Dodge Campus had a prayer night. Even though his family would be out of town and their house would be empty, Parker packed up his textbooks and hours-worth of homework to make the trek back home. To him, it was worth it. “I came home to Fort Dodge because I know the reputation of Fort Dodge isn’t the greatest,” he shared, “but I believe it isn’t anywhere near as bad as people think it is. There is, however, a large portion of the population who have not experienced a great church body that will accept them no matter who they are or what they have done.” Parker knew they could find this kind of church at PLC.
As he continues his studies at Iowa State, Parker won’t always be able to attend the Fort Dodge Campus services but will stay connected as he prays for his hometown and invests in the city he’s been put in now. Parker is one of many who have begun to see their community through the eyes of Jesus. He knows the people in Fort Dodge, Ames and wherever else he might find himself are valuable and loved by the Creator of the universe.