Redneck Neighbors & JetPacks


There was a time when I couldn’t go a week without mentioning “Redneck Neighbor” and his wife on my blog. When we first moved to the cul-de-sac they welcomed us with open arms, cold beers and a good amount of skepticism about Christians and Christianity. My how things have changed.

Today, five years later, we worship God alongside each other in a cinder block elementary school cafeteria we call church. Redneck Neighbor – Matt – leads a men’s group, helps out with maintenance stuff around the church office/farmhouse, sets up chairs and is generally up for anything anybody needs. He has a voracious inspiring appetite for learning what the Bible means and how to live the way it says to. He’s a changed man.

And his wife, Kim? Well, the painful childhood which fueled her skepticism has been recycled into passion for meeting the needs of children at Spring Hill Elementary where we worship each week. Watch this video about how she and others from our church are serving these kids – the kind of kids she and her siblings used to be:

WellSpring Christian Church: JetPack Project (Kim’s Story) from Shaun Groves on Vimeo.

And here’s a testimony from the principal of Spring Hill Elementary.

WellSpring Christian Church: JetPack Project (Principal Interview) from Shaun Groves on Vimeo.

From the creators of the JetPack Project:

Currently at Spring Hill Elementary School, 236 of the 520 enrolled students benefit from the free or reduced lunch program. It is our hope that The JetPack Project will soon be serving each of these children and their families [by providing them with enough food for the weekend if they choose to receive it]. Across the U.S., there are over 2,200 backpack food programs serving more than 90,000 children each year. Unfortunately, the numbers of food-deficient households are far greater. Spring Hill Elementary will be the first school in our area to implement a program of this kind.

The Redneck Family left the cul-de-sac a while back, out to the country where they could redneck-out and raise cows and drive tractors and four wheelers and such. But we stay in touch. I need that. I need them in my life more than they realize.

I struggle with doubt, ya’ll. It’s a big problem for me. I doubt God is real because of the lack of real change I see in my life and others’. On days when doubt’s whispers are louder than my faith I remember Matt and Kim and I believe. I believe in a God I’ve seen lovingly woo a family from skepticism to surrender. I believe in a God who’s refashioned pain into passion, turned hurt into help.

Next Steps

  • Start your own JetPack Project.
  • Go here to learn more about our church’s JetPack Project.
  • Go here to donate to our church’s JetPack Project through our family assistance ministry The Well.
  • Lovingly gently lead your church toward serving your community more than itself. And if it won’t? Well, you’re always welcome in the cafeteria

What innovative ministries are going on in your neck of the woods? Tell us about them.