A great idea at the Rolla, Missouri, Vineyard Church

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Just as I was pulling out of the parking lot of the Rolla, Missouri, Vineyard Church, this morning, I thought to snap a picture.

I had just spent three-and-a-half hours with pastor Matt Forest, who has been on the staff since 2002.  (His conversion story is so fantastic, hearing it blew me away.  It took him 2 hours to tell me the whole story.) 

The Vineyard bought the building from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) folks a few years back.  The building is solid, but the Vineyard folks have completely and beautifully remodeled it. 

Matt couldn't wait to show me their newest finished room in the basement.  He unlocked the door to a, well, a  laundry mat … of sorts anyway.    It's been in operation for just 3 months.

It contains 3 washing machines and 3 dryers and a table where you could sort and fold your clothes.  Matt and former pastor Wade Wilson had a vision to install laundry facilities in the church building and make them available to the community free of charge.  

"We just wanted a way to bless our community," Matt said. 

"Have they been used much in their first three months of service?" I asked.

"Have they been used?  Every day." 

[The washers and dryers are available every day except on the weekends.  In fact, the washers have been used more than 300 times  {appoximately one hundred loads for each washing machine} in the first three months.  Matt said he's been overwhelmed, but it's a good kind of overwhelmed.   The person or persons wanting to use the washer and dryer has only to call the church office and ask before they come.  They have to bring their own soap and follow a few basic rules.  That's it.  It's completely free.]

"Who comes?" I asked.

"Mostly poor folks," Matt said.  "And that's really what we want.  It's for them."

"Pretty cool, huh?"

"Very cool," I said, smiling.

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