It’s official…We are now a 501c3 non-profit organization! We received our letter on Saturday. Our hope is that it will open the door for food vendors to be able to donate products. We really want our more than 300 weekly meals to be well-rounded and nutritious. We also want to begin providing a toiletry bag, with such items as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, deodorant, tooth brush, tooth paste, etc. We have really seen a spike the last 2 weeks of people that have lost their jobs. We have a fear that the winter months could be very lean for a lot of people, but as I am learning to depend more on God then on myself, I know he will provide. We have already had many people asking about Loaves & Fishes. I know a lot of people are not only looking forward to it but depending on it as well.
I encourage you to take some time to read the previous stories on our blog. We have had some amazing experiences and lots of “community”. I would also encourage you to read the following 2 books if you haven’t already, *”The Irresistible Revolution”* by Shane Claiborne and *”No Perfect People Allowed”* by John Burke. If you have been a church goer for years but still feel like something is missing and can’t quite put your finger on it, these books might help identify it. They did for Amy and I.
As we move forward, our first edition of “Motel Microwave Cooking” cookbook is nearly complete and we hope to have the first version ready to pass out with our meals in 2 weeks. We would love to help get “Recycle Your Bicycle” started with 10 bikes. Wal-mart has single speed bikes available for around $90. Our vision is to put these out at a few motels, track their usage and see if we can make a case over time for a transportation grant. Another “test” project we would like to do is to put on “Life Skills” classes at a few of the motels. Knowing that the majority of folks that live in the motels do not have transportation, we feel as if we have to be the “feet on street” and take things to them. Basic life skills is something that is in dire need, from filling out applications to monthly budgeting. We are also getting geared up for our 2nd “Love Your Neighbor” Thanksgiving Dinner. We have partnered again with the Boys & Girls Club of the Ozarks, Branson Unit and Autumn and her staff are very excited, helpful, and willing. Our 5th t-shirt design is now available but not yet up on the website, “Preach the Gospel always and if necessary use words” by St. Francis of Assisi. It is a dark brown color with white lettering. We sell our shirts for only $10 but all the money goes back into providing meals and 1 shirt will feed 4 people. We would really like to find stores willing to carry our shirts if at all possible. I know it could be a headache for inventory but I think it’s for a good cause.
Finally, if you do read the blog, you will only get a tiny glimpse of what is going on in our small community of Branson. If you really want to learn, serve, love, give, then I invite you to “come and see” every Thursday night 6-9.