After dropping the care package off at the post office, Jamison and Courtney Lalk felt guilty. The box was supposed to be mailed months ago, but instead, sat by their front door. Their City Group, All Things New, put together some cards and a few drawings from their kids, along with a couple packets of ranch dressing mix, which aren't available in Germany. Their intention was to show Jon and Rachael, global partners serving in Germany, their love by reminding them that they were not alone nor forgotten. Unbeknownst to the Lalks and their City Group, God had something bigger in mind.

In years past, God revealed to the Lalks the importance and vitality of living life in community. City Groups have been a huge part of their faith journey, knowledge of God, marriage, and parenthood.

“Courtney and I knew community was important before coming to Citylight,” Jamison replied. “We had community when we lived in Ames with close Christian friends at church. I have also seen how awesome it is to have an intentional men’s group. For me, huddles (3-4 men gathering regularly together) have been more transformative. There is a level of intimacy when you have the chance to confess sin and share life with one another. Courtney and I have made huddles a priority since joining Citylight five years ago. It’s been life-giving when you meet with men who are devoted to discipling each other.”

Jamison and Courtney’s City Group identified early on that including their children in their community was essential. Considering the children in their City Group outnumber the adults and the call to disciple their kids, made the entire group pivot with their weekly rhythms and goals.

“We've added a new focus of discipling the children,” Jamison described. “One week each month, the men will go down in the basement with the kids and another week the women will. Sometimes it has been difficult, but it is fruitful. Doing this rhythm with the kids just gets better and better. The kids now understand that this is the time we read the Bible and work on the monthly memory verse. We even do hand motions that go with each verse. The other two weeks the kids are with a babysitter. It’s been awesome and encouraging for everyone to equip the group to discipling our children as well as having fellowship as adults each month. We know that having multiple adults be a part of discipling our children can create a lasting foundation in their faith. We want to give that to the children in our City Group and we want that for our own children.”

Last summer, the Lalks served on a global team to Germany. The team went over to support and learn about the mission Jon and Rachael were called into a few years prior. When they came back from Germany, Courtney and Jamison knew there were opportunities to offer encouragement to Jon and Rachael and through their City Group.

“Going into our Germany trip and after that trip I have seen in my own heart the willingness to share my own faith blossom,” Jamison exclaimed. “When I was there, I felt like I was on a mission of how I can share Jesus with this city. It was constantly on my mind. In Germany, we went on a prayer walk and while walking, we would pass by people who likely did not have a relationship with Jesus. I realized in that moment, why can’t I do that back home? Why don’t I do this at work or in my neighborhood? To wear Christ on my sleeve. The whole trip opened my eyes to share my faith.”

Since then, the Lalks and their City Group have incorporated some of these practices. They read the email updates out loud from Jon and Rachael and intentionally pray for them. Also, last fall, the City Group went on a prayer walk in the neighborhood of who was hosting that week. Afterwards, they talked about what God revealed to them and what they learned.

“The kids prayed out loud with us and we took turns," Jamison described. "On the prayer walk we all prayed for the neighborhood to know Jesus. We’ve talked about Germany and how you can get on the tram, and you can pray for every single person there and the likelihood that no one has ever been prayed for. In our culture, this could be true too. The kids have asked when walking by people if they know Jesus and when we don’t know, we pray together for that person.”

Back in November, about four months after their mission trip to Germany, the Lalks and their City Group desired to bless Jon and Rachael. The idea of a care package came to mind, so the Lalks gathered items for the care package.

"The care package sat next to our front door for a couple of months, and we felt really guilty about how long we waited before sending it," Courtney shared.

Not long after sending the package, they received a message from Jon and Rachael that they got the package, and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. They had been struggling with several things. For Jon, he felt for the first time in Germany a wall of fatigue culturally, emotionally, and spiritually. Jon wrestled with the questions “God, I don’t know if I can keep going… I just want to stop. This feels impossible.” Literally when Jon was praying, the City Group’s package was delivered. After going through the letters and prayers from the City Group members, Jon felt so seen by Jesus in that moment and broke down crying. That afternoon, Jon met with “J” from the Czech Republic who had been wrestling with faith and whom Jon had been discipling. Their discussion came down to “J" being asked by Jon "what are YOU going to do with Jesus?” “J” chose to surrender to Jesus!

From the time they received the care package to this God-moment of “J” accepting Jesus as his Savior, Jon just felt in the midst of his weakness, Jesus clearly communicating, “I see you and am with you. You are not alone…this cost is not wasted…I have you here for a reason…and I can use you, even in your weakness.”

After receiving this message, Luke, Citylight Global Director, shared with the Lalks and their City Group that God can take our weakness and turn it into something amazing. God knew the perfect time when they needed to be reminded that they are not alone and that even from thousands of miles away, from family and friends, they are seen and are still part of a great community of people who love them and are praying unceasingly for them. Even in our weakness, God will make it for Him. God is so good.

When they all heard this, everyone had tears in their eyes. Jamison and Courtney and the group were given a perfect example of why we do life with one another and of His timing. God knows what is best for us and it is all about His glory and kingdom. Community, in and through Him, is Christ’s gift to His Church.

For more information on City Groups and to join one, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *