Hope Lutheran Church in Surrey has recently started to experience some extra traffic in and around the church when a special brightly colored truck pulls up filled with books for people of all ages. This past spring, Hope Lutheran entered into the Western North Dakota Synod renewal process and for their kick-off project decided to incorporate a community favorite that was already well established in the area, the Ward County Bookmobile.
So far, the Bookmobile has visited Hope Lutheran three times. Each time, members of Hope Lutheran have a small lunch prepared that includes hot dogs, chips, cookies, and juice for all that want to stop into the church after checking out their newest reading materials. Hope Lutheran has utilized the Bookmobile advertising as well as the support from the community of Surrey itself through word of mouth, printed schedules, and Facebook messages and posts.
The first week, only about 20 people participated but word quickly spread what a great time was had by those who attended and the numbers doubled to 40 the very next time the Bookmobile visited. Because of the tight time schedule for the Bookmobile, it is only parked in the Hope Lutheran parking lot for about 30 minutes but then folks are invited inside for the lunch, a story time that is led by confirmation students, and a chance to visit with old and new friends.
Brandi Juma, a member of the Surrey community, has been bringing her kids each week and says that she enjoys the opportunity for her kids to come and check out books but has also been enjoying the chance to see and visit with other parents, grandparents, and members of the community.
Crystal Cree, owner and operator of Crystal’s Daycare in Surrey, says “basically when my daycare kids hear that the Bookmobile is coming they get excited for it. They ask every week when is it coming. The kids enjoy the new books every other week as well as the socialization they get too.” Crystal also says, “I think it’s fantastic that the church has opened its doors to feed everyone as well. I know I appreciate it very much.”
Members of the renewal team are excited and encouraged by the reception that this project has received and are currently starting to look at ways that Hope Lutheran can continue providing a space for food, fun, and fellowship even after the current summer Bookmobile season is over.
The Ward County Bookmobile is scheduled to make two more stops at Hope Lutheran on July 16th and August 5th. Lunch is served beginning at 11:30, the Bookmobile is available from 12:00-12:30, and story time goes until 1:00. If you have some time or are in the area, stop in and check it out!