Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Second Sunday

Well, I wish I could say that mobs of people showed up for breakfast on Sunday but really only one family did and they were an hour late because they forgot about the time change. We had people come out to prepare the breakfast and it was great for Mike to spend some time with them, getting to know them better. God is working all the time even when it seems like he isn't. We all need to remember to hold one another up in prayer and that sometimes we just need to be friends. If Jesus was here He would be our friend and hang out, help fix breakfast, and love us.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kindness to our Neighbors

The third part of our plan is to bring donuts and coffee to teachers (during inservice), firemen, and police officers. Roger is in charge of this part of our effort and he has brought donuts to a local school for inservice during President's Day. They were well received and the principal was very excited.
The donuts and coffee also includes a letter to let the teachers know that we have a food pantry at the church and that we are offering free breakfasts on Sunday morning. Part of our thought in this process is that these kind of people know those who are hungry in our area. It is safe to say that most of the children in our area receive free breakfasts and lunches while they are at school since there family income qualifies them for the program. Our hope is that if any of these three groups run into someone they know is hungry they can give them our name and tell them how to find us. We also fear that children receiving free breakfasts and lunches during the week may not have food to eat on weekends.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meeting New People in the Neighborhood

The second part of our plan is to go out and meet new people in our neighborhood. To find these people Jennifer and I found a company that identifies new people in whatever radius you give them from the church, they send them a oversized postcard inviting them to our church and then they e-mail us the names and addresses. Actually they found us, when we were trying to figure out how to do this. Isn't that the way God works. They send out to different new people each month.
Our goal is to take each of them a sack, the sack will have a sticker on the outside with our church info and microwave popcorn in it that says, "Pop in on us." We hope to take these out, meet them, and pray with them if they need prayer on Sunday afternoons. The sack will also have information on our church in it.
We are not sure how this will work, and since I said in the beginning we don't have money, we have set it up so that we get the fifty closest people to the church. The expense is nominal, a set up fee and a fee for each card. We have done all the initial set-up and are in the proofing stage of it. Our first mailing will be in April.
We have a month to recruit volunteers to do the visiting part.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stories from the Food Pantry

Our food pantry is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 to 1:00. We have volunteers who come in every day to help with it so I don't have to man it very often. There are times however when they come and ring the bell when it is not open or one of our volunteers is out and then I help out in the pantry. We do not open the door if either Jennifer or I are by ourselves. We are not set up to be a grocery store, emergency food only. However, we are fortunate that God is blessing this ministry and keeping the pantry stocked in these difficult times. We have schools, businesses, and other churches who are having food drives to help us out. We appreciate their efforts so much because we could not do this alone.

He showed up around 9:30 in the morning. He was a black man but his skin was chaulk white, dry, and covered with sores. It was cold outside and he said he needed to come in. He came in and sat in one of the chairs in the Commons, he said he was thirsty so I went back to my office and got him two bottles of water, they were small. I asked him if he had a stove to cook on because often that dictates what kind of food we give. He said he had a stove so I went to the pantry to get the food. Pastor John came out and spoke with him and had a prayer with him while I was getting the food. We are not sure what disease he had but he did not leave thirsty or hungry.

It was nine degrees outside and she came in wearing flip flops, a skirt, and a lightweight sweatshirt. A friend had given her a ride and they were both there to get Christmas food boxes. She was shivering when she came in. Jennifer seeing that she was in flip flops, went to find her some socks to wear with the flip flops to keep her feet warm. I went to put together a box of food for each of them. When I brought the food back she had the socks on and was walking around the Commons to get the socks between her toes so she could walk normally. Jennifer pulled me aside and said they were asking if we had any laundry soap, we only have food but we were able to find a ten dollar gift card to Krogers which I gave her.

Last summer a couple came to the church in the late afternoon, they looked to be really young, maybe late teens. They were traveling from Pennsylvania to Bell Buckle, Tennessee. They were hungry and they said so. The young man asked Jennifer if she would open the cans for them and she brought them some plastic spoons as well. They sat on the ground outside the door and ate four cans of Ravioli (two each) right from the cans without them being heated. It was obvious how hungry they were, we also gave them some water, and single serving size applesauce. They rested for awhile in the shade. The young girl said she was pregnant and the young man was very protective of her. We gave them some food to take with them and the last time I saw them was as I was leaving for the day, they were hitchhiking on the on-ramp.

They all have stories, lost jobs, medical problems, homeless, can't find jobs, or maybe they're here illegally. We try to make sure that we feed all of them.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Big Sunday

Well, today was a little disappointing. We woke up to snow reports on the TV and they were advising everyone to not go out unless it was absolutely necessary. Looking out the window it wasn't too bad so Mike was going to go ahead and I would follow. He came back inside a few minutes later, he had turned the car on to warm up before loading it up and locked the keys inside. His truck was parked in front of the garage door and my car was in the garage. We didn't have an extra key and the extra fob had a dead battery so we took apart my fob to see if my battery would work in his fob and it didn't. He called a locksmith and they were going to come out and then he found another fob and that actually opened the door. By this time he was runnuing really late. The devil was working overtime, I swear.
A lot of people from the church came out to help but we only had one family turn up. They had just moved into the area from Egypt. They had an interpreter with them and they stayed for the church service and all. We will try and help them find jobs this next week. I am still excited, good things can come from small beginnings.