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Students’ Ding Dong Dash Ministry Brings Prayer Home

A teen was a little mystified when he learned about the “Ding Dong Dash” student group activity at his church. With the after-hours stealth, catching homeowners unaware, and the anonymous nature of it all, Clifton Punter said he wasn't so sure about the ministry's concept.

Then Punter participated in Ding Dong Prayer Dash at St. Matthew's United Methodist Church, and he understood everything. Ding Dong Prayer Dash is a twist on "Ding Dong Ditch," a familiar children's prank involving ringing someone's doorbell and running away before it's answered.

Thus, on a recent Wednesday night, Punter and other members of the church's student group formed a circle on the lawn of a homebound church member. A nearby porchlight provided a warm glow as he led them in a prayer for the church member then hung a special door sign featuring a hopeful message on the member's front door.

Riinnnggg! Punter rang the doorbell and he and others in the student group quickly walked back to two waiting vans. And on they drove to another house to offer up another prayer for fellow church members who are generally homebound.

Punter said of the prayer activity, "When I first heard about it, it seemed a little weird. You're ringing someone's doorbell and then running away but then I realized it makes people smile because we leave them a gift basket or we leave them a note. It lets them know somebody's thinking about them.”

Jayna Sims was a recent recipient of the group's Ding Dong Prayer Dash. She was on the student's list because of the death of her father. She said the student group visited her dad earlier in the year and brought him some goodies. Sims says,

It means a lot to me—I've had a rough year. I took care of my dad this last year and along with COVID, my immune system is bad so I've been trapped at home for two years. Having them stop by every once in a while, that means a lot, it really means a lot. … my church family is still my church family, even though I can't go every week.

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