Over the past few months we planned a couple of events to impact our community. We had spent countless hours planning, preparing, praying and getting things ready. The first event, our Fall Festival, went off without a hitch. We had several hundred people from our community at the building and families had a great time with their kids playing games and having a great time. We met many new families from our community and instead of inviting everyone to our worship we decided to have a followup event to invite them to.
That followup event was with an organization called “Feeding Children Everywhere” (who I highly recommend) where we raised the funds to pack 80,000 meals for our community food bank. The food was scheduled to arrive the day before the event and, outside of anyone’s control, the shipping company that was hired to deliver the food and guaranteed it would be here on time failed to deliver (literally). We tried hiring another company to get the food here last minute but they fell through. We finally decided the event had to be re-scheduled. That was a hard pill to swallow. On top of that the decision had to finally be made around 4:30 in the morning after spending the entire night trying to work this out. I was tired, frustrated, and knocked to my knees…the church had invited friends, family, and the neighborhood to come and I hate not delivering on what we tell people.
After much prayer and trying to figure out why all of this was happening (again at 4:30am) my wife had the brilliant idea of having it Sunday after worship as everything was already set up. The workers from Feeding Children Everywhere sacrificed tremendously to make this happen and it was a real challenge to get the word out so people wouldn’t show up Saturday morning, not to mention the feeling that I would be letting people down.
We all knew God had to be up to something in all of this and Sunday morning made sense out of everything…God taught us that His plans are always best. We ended worship early and instead of going to Bible class we went and packed 80,000 meals in 2 hours! People realized what had happened and were so graceful…there was a feeling that we weren’t just packing meals but that God was up to something special in all of this that gave an extra boost to the joy that came with doing this as a church together. We had visitors serving alongside members and young alongside old…it was truly incredible. 80,000 meals were packed/children ultimately fed, the news stopped by, and people were so happy!This was a landmark event for the congregation that people will never forget and the seeds were planted for so much service and community outreach in the future. Praise God that he messed up our plans and did something so much better than what we had in mind!
Here is the lesson I learned in all of this – those who wait upon the Lord will not be put to shame and all that matters is that the name of the Lord is glorified. In all of this 2 Corinthians 4 has been on my heart…that we have this ministry from Christ and so we do not lose heart…instead we let these jars of clay shine with the radiance of Christ!
If you are looking for doing a major service event in your community contact Feeding Children Everywhere and see if they can assist you!
Me, Missy, the boys, Nick and his wife Marissa, and Ken from FCE along with some of the meals we packed