Trinity Friends Church spreading kindness with rocks and paint

Staff Writer

    If pedestrians in Van Wert, Ohio, are observant, they may start spotting colorfully painted rocks in the area. Residents of all ages have been painting rocks, sometimes adding words of encouragement or humor, and hiding them throughout the city for others to discover. The purpose is simple: to inspire creativity and spread joy. Trinity Friends Church Rock Ministry, headed by Mindy Longwell, who is the church’s ministry assistant, has taken the idea a step further — by painting on the rocks truths and encouragement from God’s Word.
    Individuals have been meeting for weeks, collecting rocks, painting rocks and having a good time doing it. Trinity Friends provided the rocks, paintbrushes and painting instructors. Along with beautiful scenes or colorful patterns, the artists added words such as: “God is love,” “God cares” and “Jesus loves you,” along with many scripture references. Then the volunteers, largely members from the TFC youth group and youth director, Katie Etter, along with Longwell have been distributing the rocks around the community.
    “By sharing these stones of inspiration, faith, and encouragement, we hope to be a blessing to the greater Van Wert community,” Longwell shared.
    She was inspired to start this ministry while visiting her son who is an 82nd Division Airborne Paratrooper After finding colorfully painted rocks at both Fort Benning, Georgia, Army Base and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Army Base. She knew she wanted the church to be part of this movement.
    “Finding those rocks so far away from home and feeling a connection with their community, along with the joy and smile they gave me, I wanted to bring that kind of encouragement back home to Van Wert,” said Longwell.
    Longwell also said distributing the rocks is “a great opportunity to share words of hope and faith. It’s fun for the giver and the receiver!”
    If you wish to join the TFC Rock Painting Team contact Longwell at the church, 419-238-2788. Trinity Friends would be glad to embrace your artistic ability and would enjoy your company. In the mean time, look for these rocks.
    “Find one, take a pic, post it on the Trinity Friends Church Facebook and re-hide it for another to find. Even in another town, city or state.