Category Archives: News

New Shopping Carts for Open Hands Food Pantry

Johnson Ave Hy-Vee donates three shopping carts.

A huge shout-out to the Johnson Ave Hy-Vee and manager KC Lyons for responding to our call for help when we needed new shopping carts for the Open Hands Food Pantry.   Each week, many of our pantry visitors need assistance getting their groceries to their cars.  When a few of our carts disappeared, we were in dire need of some replacements. KC responded quickly to our request for help and we now have three new carts for our patrons to use.

We love our neighbors at Hy-Vee! Thank you, again KC and Hy-Vee stores for your great generosity.

The Open Hands Food Pantry supports 150+ families a month with food and basic toiletry supplies.  The pantry is open Mondays 5-6pm, Wednesdays 10am-12pm and Fridays 10am-12pm and staffed by loving volunteers.  Patrons receive a bag of non-perishable groceries based on their family size and any perishables on hand (milk, cheese, meat, etc.) We are grateful for the support of our church and local businesses who help us make a difference in our community.

Loading the carts came with another story… A woman who saw us loading the carts was convinced we were stealing them.  Being a good Samaritan, she flagged us down, standing in front of our truck so we couldn’t move while she began to call the police.  Luckily, we convinced her that the carts had just been donated! We had a great time laughing with her and thanking her for looking out for her community.

Cross Training Teachers Fill the Stage


We are blessed to have so many great teachers and volunteers who lead in the Cross Training and Discipleship ministries.  Sunday August 21 we had teachers gather across the stage in both services to be commissioned, encouraged and prayed over by the congregation.  The line of teachers extended from one end of the stage to the other and included adult , junior/senior high, elementary, preschool, Journey and All Stars for Jesus teachers.

Cross Training classes are available for ages 3yrs to adults. Classes are in between Sunday worship services at 9:45am during the school year.  (Nursery available for ages 0-2).

Dangerous Missions in Turkey

brightspotCedar Hills supports a number of missions and missionaries around the globe, often serving in countries where it is too dangerous to use their names in any of our social media.

At a recent mission meeting, we heard a first-hand report about the reach of our impact as a congregation in one of these places. Our missionaries serving in Turkey have counseled, coached and equipped other missionaries from over 50 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Many of the countries are Muslim, and some are closed to missionaries.

This same missionary pair also recently counseled and encouraged a couple living in a closed Muslim country. They are able to shine the light of Jesus in a community where Christian Missionaries are not permitted to go.

The Voice of the Martyrs website reports: “About 20 evangelical churches in Turkey have received threatening messages from the Turkish branch of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. The messages, which have been sent via Facebook, text and email, often include threatening videos and pictures. They state that they are tired of waiting for the Christians to return to Islam, and they threaten to “implement Quranic commandments that urge us to slay the apostate like you.” The churches have reported the threats to authorities. Please pray for the churches’ protection and guidance.”

From Cedar Rapids to Turkey, we have brothers and sisters who are sharing Christ with their Muslim neighbors.  Persecution is a real threat to our brothers and sisters around the world.  Continue to pray for all of our missionaries who are dedicated to bringing the Good News to people around the globe.



Category: Hostile

Major Religions: Islam 96.5%, Christianity 0.3%
Prevalent Ideology: Islam
Leader: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

This secular republic is now ruled by an Islamic party, and some are concerned by the growing authoritarianism of the prime minister. Turks are proud of their culture and history.

Life for Christians
Turkey remains one of the least evangelized countries in the world. More than a century of missionary work has yielded little fruit. Active Christians face hardships ranging from job loss to physical violence and even death. All religious communities are subject to state controls, which limit the right to own places of worship, train clergy and offer religious instruction.