Thank You Real Life…

Ben Schoettel   -  


I think everyone can relate to this, but it can become easy in life to just kinda put your head down and keep on keeping on. With that energy, although sometimes necessary, it can be easy to forget to reflect on all that God is doing in our lives. So, with all the love and appreciation that has been given to the staff here at Real Life, I thought it would be appropriate to turn that around to you by giving a recap of some of the highlights from this past year. Whether you have given, volunteered, shared, or prayed, you have all been a part of what God is doing here, and God is doing some amazing things.

  • Between all these other activities listed below, we have seen people put their faith in Jesus, enter the waters of baptism, become active participants and members, join Life Groups, and more, as we have embarked on this collective journey to Encounter God, Embrace Community, and Embody Mission.
  • We hosted 4 Foster Night Outs to provide free childcare for foster parents in our area so they can get a much-needed break.
  • We hosted multiple awareness and support events with HUB Coalition in the efforts to provide sustainable freedom for addiction.
  • We hosted Mobile Markets with the NWI Food Bank to giveaway meals to 300+ families.
  • We have hosted Christmas Traditions, Easter Egg Hunt, Block Party, and Trunk or Treat as a way for us to connect with and serve our neighbors and partnering organizations.
  • We have provided workplace training for the Applied Skills students from Portage High School.
  • We continued Challenger’s Baseball which provides fun, dignity, and community for our special needs youth.
  • We have embraced various fellowship opportunities (men’s, women’s, primetime events, Kid’s Adventure Days, Youth events etc.) throughout the year. We look to continue to expand on that in years to come.
  • Portage Community Garden remains a place for the community to grow and receive fresh produce as well as a nature space for people to find community. We have even had some Eagle Scouts and students needing community service hours come to volunteer to maintain the gardens.
  • We have continually collected your donated items for Crisis Care Kits, Back to School Blitz, 500 Turkeys, and now Angel Tree/Hope Gifts all to be a blessing to those who need it most.
  • In Partnership with Pastor Dexter Harris, we participated in the All-In Gary cleanup, and continue to pray over and serve with our neighbors in Gary as part of Together for the Region.
  • We had our first Serve the Region weekend where we saw over 100 Real Lifers sent out into the community to love our first responders, widows and shut-ins, DCS, Foster families, Miller’s Manor residents, Housing Opportunities residents, Free the Girls, and more.
  • We have now formed an ongoing relationship with Miller’s Manor that includes routine visits and now monthly worship services as part of Real Life Community Church.
  • We mobilized 12 Real Lifers to Palmarcito to join our sister church to help build a bakery, establish a community garden, and help evangelize to the surrounding community with Pastor Nestor and his team.
  • We have collectively sponsored 17 children (more to come!) through NCM in Palmarcito which provides much needed resources for children and their families to establish a life of dignity.
  • We have been able to make some updates and needed repairs as part of our responsibility to steward this property which has included the lobby remodel, community space lighting, roofing repairs, painting, and general cleanups/repairs to keep our space ready to be used as God desires.

I am certain that I didn’t cover everything, but I hope this gave you a clear picture of what God is doing, and how we all have seen and experienced the good fruit that God promises. Thank you for choosing to join us, in whatever capacity that looks like for you. I hope that you feel appreciated and blessed by this little walk down memory lane of where we are going and who we are becoming. Thank you, Real Life. Now it is your turn to give yourselves some love.