Last night was such a humbling night. Over the past 2-3 weeks we (us volunteers) were feeling pretty good about ourselves as we were delivering 300 meals and loaves of bread to folks and would even have 4-5 meals left over. I thought, yes, a job well done, we got everyone fed that we had been committed too. Well, God has a way of humbling people when they start to get prideful and he did just that last night. For whatever reason, people getting unemployed, the weather, or just God, we ran out of food before we got even 2/3’s of the way done. Imagine being a volunteer last night and having to tell someone that has looked forward to us coming week in and week out that we don’t have any food left. It’s tough. We had one group that did an excellent job of trying to at least get the food to the children before we ran out. Which we estimate is 200-300 that live in weekly and extended stay motels in Branson.
When Amy & I started doing this we just wanted to “do something” and had no idea what it was going to look like but as it started to unfold God showed us that it was also about relationships. We learned that not only did the people count on us to bring them the food but they would often share their struggles for the week. We began to take it very personal, so much so that we hated to run out of meals to distribute and were constantly adding more than we could afford. We knew the food was the “foot in the door” to restore someone’s perception about Christians. It is always so hard to run out of food before we get to everyone because then we miss out on the relationship time as well. My heart hurt for the volunteers that were put in that position last night because it’s such an emotional letdown when you know people are in need and you can’t help them. If your church has a prayer list please add us to it. Please pray for the ones serving and ones being served. Please pray for continued resources and please pray for additional volunteers.
Speaking of serving, we were able to hear Shane Claiborne speak Sunday in Springfield. He is not only entertaining and an inspiration, but really challenges you as a Christian as well. He said there was a recent survey done, (sorry I can’t remember who he said did it), that surveyed non-Christians/non-believers about what their impressions of Christians were. The top 3 results were, 1-Christians are anti-gay, 2-Christians are judgmental, and 3-Christians are hypocrites. Probably not surprising answers. His opinion was that the only way we can change are perception as Christians is to put action such as love, compassion, non-judging, etc., behind our Christianity. In a day of church in-fighting and church splits, I would ask that you take a hard look at what your church is doing in the community. Are they involved in the community or only within their church walls? Do they only seek people that come thru their doors or do they truly seek out the lost? Do they accept the broken and unsaved or do they only want the already churched? Tony Campolo writes, “There are 2,000 verses of Scripture that tell us we must be committed to protecting the poor and the oppressed…There is no concern of Scripture that is addressed so often and so powerfully as reaching out to the poor.“ I would ask, is your church involved in helping the poor?
This Saturday is “Make a Difference Day”. We’ve chosen to build a garden at Aunt Mollie’s motel on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. Come and be a part of this by just hanging out with us beginning at 9 o’clock. God has provided the dirt for us but due to the rain we won’t be able to put it in this Saturday so we will just get everything ready. We still need some additional items like landscape timbers and drip line. If you have any connections or know any way we can get these things donated please let me know.
We are currently collecting the following items for our Thanksgiving Dinner and you can drop them off at the CenturyLINK store (formally CenturyTel) on Hwy 248 in the Gretna Plaza 339-1077:
We are putting together a care bag to pass out that night of Toiletry Items – Shampoo, Razors, Shaving Cream, Deodorant, Toilet Paper, Etc.
Winter Items - Blankets, Socks, Sweatshirts, Hats, Gloves, Coats, Etc.
Bikes – New or Used Adult Single Speed
Bibles (Large Print) & Kids Bibles
We would love to have kids decorate our “Happy Face” sacks. We go through 300 a week and would love to have church children’s groups, schools, daycares, etc. help us decorate the bags with a smiley face. They come in packs of 500. If you know a group that would like some please contact me.
Finally, please pray for the following people:
Our new friend Anthony. He is in desperate need of a job, hope and encouragement. We have just met him and he is a very humble guy with a soft demeanor. He has an entertainment background as a musician but is looking for employment in anything. If I still had my businesses I would take a chance on him. Our friend Dennis. He needs prayer that the Dr. can get his medication straightened out and that it will be covered under his Medicare plan. Our friend Renee. Her sister is in the hospital in Springfield with the Swine Flu. Our friend Bill. He has a severe case of sleep apnea. Continued prayer for this outreach that it not only touches lives but can help restore and transform them through Christ.