church planting leader randall tonini

In the spring of 2018, Restore Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska was on the verge of a brand-new chapter in their church life – occupying a permanent space after three years of being a mobile church. Lead minister of Restore, Dustin Fulton, realized that having a permanent space provided a unique opportunity to become involved in the community in new and deeper ways, and as a church, Restore began to pray about ways to help their neighborhood and city thrive.

Then Restore heard about Sleep In Heavenly Peace, a non-profit organization that builds beds for children who sleep on the floor. In the Omaha metro area alone, there are 14,000 children who do not have beds to sleep on. Sleeping on the floor is linked to poor performance in school, has negative impacts on physical health, and leads to a lower than average self-image.

It was obvious to Dustin and to Restore that their prayers had been answered. Why not use their now empty trailer as a traveling bed warehouse and begin a chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace in Omaha So that’s exactly what they did. Restore reached out to local businesses and individuals to begin raising funds for building supplies (including mattresses and linens), and they recently built their first dozen beds.

Some of the beds built went to refugees whose apartment building had been condemned by the city and had “essentially become refugees again”. Others went to a family in Restore’s own community. The remaining beds went to a family in a partner church serving in a rough area of the city – and to God’s glory, that family attended church the following Sunday!

Dustin told Stadia, “We realized that this could be a great way to help children in need, as well as bring people together from different parts of town. Most of the people where we live at have never been in an impoverished person’s home, and if we are going to care for kids in need, that simply needed to change.”

“It costs right at $150 per child for an entire bed, including mattresses and blankets. That winds up being about a nickel a night to get kid off the floor through their childhood. The look on the kids’ faces are priceless. Not only do they get a new bed, but all new mattresses and linens as well. We do our best to go the extra mile and pick out blankets and sheets that fit the kids’ interests as well. Word is getting out, especially among the social workers in schools. Just the other day we received requests for beds for 11 kids in just an hour’s time!”

It would have been easy for Restore to see the opening of their permanent space as an easier and calmer season for their church. Instead, they used all of their available resources to be the hands of feet of Christ to Omaha, and we celebrate their commitment to love their neighbors right into the arms of Jesus!

Who’s next?

Are you a catalytic leader who is ready to start a great church? Stadia is ready to help!