Pastor John and Ilena Wagner, Hometown Heroes

Published: Jan. 28, 2015 at 8:46 PM CST
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Pastor John Wagner, a Hometown Hero
Pastor John Wagner, a Hometown Hero

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - You may have heard the expression, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is." Well, John Wagner disagrees.

"We'll go out to Berl Huffman and give out 1,000 bottled waters for free. We went out to local laundromats and we brought rolls of quarters and tokens and all of that and we paid for people's laundry. Fourth on Broadway, we'll partner somebody like Bahama Bucks and give out their products for free to people on a hot July day.

"People appreciate it so much and when they ask us, 'Why are you doing this?' We just tell them, 'God's love is free,'" Wagner said.

John and Ilena Wagner lead Turning Point Community Church here in Lubbock.

Their outreach program has touched the lives of nearly 10,000 people in the community.

"We just love blessing people and just making their day and putting a smile on their face. That's what 'Re-fresh' is," Pastor Ilena said.

One word: Re-fresh. Yet, so many ways to impact the lives of others. That's what the Wagners and their congregation, strive to do with monthly community services projects.

Pastor John says their movement has grown over the past year. Their last project has been the biggest yet.

"Enabled us to touch 500 people in less than half an hour. It was just a burst, an outreach burst," said Pastor John.

Although they are being recognized as Hometown Heroes, their outreach doesn't stop at home.

"In West, Texas, Hurricane Sandy, in New York, New Jersey, we represented Lubbock to places like that and said, 'Hey, we're in this with you, we love you and we want to help in any way we can.'"

But their outreach goes even farther than that.

"We're just finishing up right now on a well in a remote village in India that will provide 250 villagers with clean water for the very first time. The impact of that is mind-boggling," he said.

But the Wagners say they couldn't do it alone.

"It is a reflection of these precious people. Again, a congregation of Hometown Heroes here at Turning Point," Pastor John said.

"We love the people of Lubbock and we want to continue blessing the people of Lubbock. They have now blessed us. Thank you, thank you so much," said Pastor Ilena.

For more Hometown Hero stories, click here.

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