Hillvue Church’s Annual Car Care Event Offers Hope to Single Moms.

by | Nov 2023

IT WASN’T the car she’d always dreamed of, but with a colicky 6-month-old, unpaid medical bills piling up on the counter of their tiny apartment, and her college thesis inching her anxiety level higher, she was grateful it cranked and got them safely from point A to point B. The light blue paint was being overtaken by rust, and the check engine light had been blinking yellow for quite some time. The passenger side tire always seemed to need air at the most inopportune times, and she had to be extremely careful when it rained because all four bald tires lost traction. Not only was her car not what she’d planned, but neither was anything else in her life. Her breath caught in her throat — she never planned to be a single mom. 

As she swiped her hand over her cheek, mopping away the salty tears, she glanced lovingly into the hazel eyes of her daughter. To her, she was perfect. It didn’t matter if she had an extra copy of chromosome 21 and a hole in her heart, making her medically fragile. Those rounded eyes and chubby cheeks meant more to her than driving the most expensive vehicle off the showroom floor. Even though she’d had a few months to make plans after doctors gave her the news, the diagnosis still felt surreal. But the toughest decision she made wasn’t choosing to raise a special needs child all by herself. Regret had never even crossed her mind. 

With no family to turn to for help and most of her friends busy with their own lives, this was a journey she’d have to learn to walk alone. In a few years, when she finally received her college degree and landed a better-paying job, life for both of them would get easier. She looked at her daughter, buckled safely in her infant car seat, cooing and gnawing at her chubby fists. 

Suddenly, her car started making a strange clicking sound in the engine, so she coasted into the nearest parking lot and came to a stop beside the Hillvue Heights Church sign. Someone knocked on her window, startling her. “You here for our single mom’s oil change today?” an older gentleman asked, grinning. 

When was the last time she’d had an oil change? Maybe that was exactly what her old car needed. With funds low, plus all the recent trips they’d made to the children’s hospital, an oil change or any maintenance had completely slipped her mind. “Yes. I guess so,” she hesitantly replied. He motioned for her to join the line of idling cars and soon stood by her window again with his palm extended. “If you’ll give me your keys, I’ll take good care of it for you, ma’am. You and the little one there go right on inside the church. Make yourself at home.” Scratching his head, he added, “Let’s see. They’ve got food, worship, music, games, and even a short devotion for all of you ladies. You and your young’un go and enjoy yourselves. I’ll let you know when your car is back in tiptop shape.”

The moment she crossed the threshold leading into the building, she felt genuinely loved, valued, and cared for. Perhaps she didn’t have to walk this road alone after all. She hugged her daughter against her chest and the heaviness she’d been carrying lifted.

That fictional example is a glimpse at how Hillvue Heights Church is changing lives. Stories like this one happen every time a single mother pulls into the parking lot. They get to take a breath. Hillvue Heights Church has provided oil changes, replaced oil filters, checked tire pressure, and even washed the cars of single moms for the past 20 years. 

“Participants arrive and get checked in. Their kids head to the kids’ area while the ladies head to a devotion time where the Gospel is shared, and they have the opportunity to talk and pray with someone. Then we have food, conversation, and music while they wait for their cars to be finished,” said Connections Pastor Ben Brewster. “Our Single Mom’s Oil Change event connects ladies to Jesus while meeting a practical need. We also get to pray and fellowship with each woman that attends, and we have games and activities for their children.”

Brewster said they average between 150-200 women and provide 300-400 volunteers each year. “It really is a group effort. The Single Mom’s Oil Change event is part of our REACH week, which was held Oct. 18–22. We served our community in a focused manner. There is never a cost to attend, and all single moms are welcomed with open arms.” GN 

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