Ask Trisha Childs what she is most enthusiastic about, and she’ll answer without hesitation: “I am most passionate about outreach in our community and touching lives in Jesus’ name.”
That passion and its recognized impact on the community of Lompoc, Calif., resulted in Trisha recently being awarded the 2008 Distinguished Service Award by the chief of police and the local police department—an award, Trisha notes, that had not been given out previously and that, though approved by a committee, was specifically given by the chief of police. She says it was a total surprise.
But her well-deserved accolade was most likely not a surprise to anyone who knows her. She and her husband, Steve—who have been married for 28 years and have three adult children—have been part of Lompoc Foursquare Church for 22 years. Now on the church staff, Trisha first served as a volunteer in the nursery, then in the children’s ministry. She was hired by the church as a receptionist 14 years ago and has served in various capacities since. Stepping into a role of overseeing massive community outreaches was simply a further expression of her heart to serve others.
“Trisha understands serving from the heart and is more than a staff member,” Bernie Federmann, senior pastor of Lompoc Foursquare Church, told Foursquare.org. “She has bought into the vision that small things done with God’s love can change lives, and when we live heart-first, we impact the hearts of others. It takes a person with leadership and administration skills to organize our outreaches, but without the right heart, something would be missing—Trisha possesses that right heart.”
Community outreaches that the church sponsors and that Trisha oversees include two annual events in partnership with the local police department: National Night Out (a drug prevention and awareness event); and a car show that supports the Special Olympics.
In addition, Trisha, with the help of the church’s “Serve Team,” organizes events such as Kids Days in the Park; an Air Force and First Responders Public Safety Appreciation BBQ; free water bottle giveaways, free car washes and free Christmas gift wrapping; blood donation drives; and a unique Dinner Baskets for Christmas outreach, where under-resourced families in the church receive a holiday meal—but are also given two extras to “pay forward” to other families in need.
And the list goes on. The church has adopted two schools and is creating a student lounge, so kids will have a place to hang out after school. They are also crafting a media room, adding gaming stations and working with students to produce a mural. When school administrators asked why the church is doing all this, Trisha says it was great to be able to reply, “We don’t want anything—there are no strings attached.”
“I enjoy sharing the love of Jesus with others in simple ways by serving them,” she explains. “I love the reaction of people when they cannot understand that something is free, no strings attached. And we have seen many people come to Lompoc Foursquare because someone simply loved them right where they were! It’s all about people coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and this is just one way of sharing His love with them.”