The Springs Church Has Opened Its Doors and Its Heart
The Springs Church in Colorado Springs is a nondenominational charismatic church led by Gary Wilkerson, son of famed evangelist David Wilkerson. They are a Church with a heart for people and ministry.
Beth Kraiss and The Friendship Ministry
A Wonderful Ministry
The Springs Church is pleased to announce that, The Friendship Ministry directed by Beth Kraiss formerly known as the Special Needs Ministry has found a new home. In the fall of 2011 The Springs Church in Colorado Springs opened its doors to Beth Kraiss and her students.
A Woman with a Heart
Ms. Beth Kraiss, as many may already know, began teaching Sunday school back in the early 1970's and has built an excellent reputation for her genuine love, compassion and concern for those less fortunate in our community.
This wonderful woman has spent years caring for and ministering to the homeless and the disadvantaged. She and her husband Dale, shuttled people back and forth to church every Sunday in their personal vehicles for years, and many of those same individuals are still friends with them to this day. Beth has worked tirelessly for the past thirty nine years extending God's grace and mercy to those going through hard times
She’s spent forty years taking sandwiches and blankets to those who lived under the bridges in downtown Colorado Springs and inviting those with disabilities into her home for family meals and celebrations, and her efforts have paid off. Beth has had the joy of watching people go from homeless to living on their own, from being helpless to being helpers.
Beth loves introducing people to Christ and loves inviting them to church where they can experience all that God has for them. In January of 2011, her ministry had grown to a classroom of 250. These students were picked up faithfully every Sunday in church buses and vans that had been donated over the years and driven by a staff of volunteers.
A Disability and or the Lack of Transportation Should Not be a Barrier
Beth has always been a firm believer that a disability and/or the lack of transportation should not be a barrier that keeps people from becoming involved in their local church.
In early 2011, Beth learned that the Special Needs Ministry was unexpectedly placed on furlough and when her students were informed of this, they were none too happy. Beth's phone rang off the hook with pleas from her students to pick them up for church.
She and Dale had come full circle; no longer having access to their vans and buses due to the furlough, they had no other choice than to begin transporting students in their own vehicles on up to The Springs Church.
Many of those that had served under Beth throughout the years joined forces and began helping out. Every Sunday morning Beth and her team of volunteers began picking up as many as they could possibly transport. But, even with the volunteers who jumped into help, there was no way that they could pick up all 250 students.
A New Church Family and a New Home
In the fall of 2011, The Springs Church and Mercy Missions approached Beth and
her students and graciously extended an invite, an invite to make The Springs Church their home.
Beth and her students were welcomed with open arms at The Springs Church and they accepted the invite and have made The Springs Church their home. They've embraced a new church family and a new name, The Friendship Ministry. Michael Heath, one of Beth's students, said that during the furlough, Beth made sure he always had a ride to church and she even took car loads of her students to Culvers after church every Sunday and promised them that things would be okay, and Michael says, "She was right!" He went on to say that the people at The Springs Church are really glad to have them; they've made him feel right at home.
The Friendship Ministry
They may have a new name and a new home, but they still have the same heart. The Friendship Ministry is a scripturally based ministry that feeds the soul and comforts the heart.
The mission of The Friendship Ministry is to see that people with both mental and physical disabilities have a place in which to grow in their relationship with Christ. The ministry is open to anyone living with a physical, mental, developmental, or emotional disability. This ministry is here to stand with those who are facing the everyday challenges of living with a special need.
They meet weekly at The Springs Church and the emphasis is on extending the hand of Christ to others and teaching God's Word through scriptures to adults with developmental disabilities. But, it doesn't stop there, the ministry also extends itself to those living in nursing homes with low cognitive skills, people diagnosed as "mentally ill", "at risk" teen-agers, the homeless and anyone in the community who is disadvantaged or displaced.
The Friendship Ministry reaches out to over 250 students on a weekly basis but unfortunately Beth is unable to bus them all in herself. The goal is to one day have enough buses, vans and drivers to bring them into the classroom where they can fellowship, worship and learn about Christ among friends.
Beth has spent the past four decades doing what she does best, serving others. Since The Springs Church has opened its doors for her and her students, she has been walking on cloud nine. She is excited about the future and her prayer is of gratitude. If you are looking for a church to call home, or if you would like to inquire about assisting with the Friendship Ministry, please call Beth Kraiss at (719) 331-7379.
They meet every Sunday at 9am at The Springs Church which is located at: 1515 Auto Mall Loop Colorado Springs, Colorado 80920