A Good Day
Last Saturday, we had the opportunity to be involved in a massive service project at our church. We had been hoping for months to partner with Numana, an international hunger relief organization, to host a meal-packing event at our church, with the food to be directed to a refugee camp in Kenya. We thought we could pull off a 25,000 meal event, and we were so excited to play a part (even a small one) in providing emergency help to people involved in the dire drought and famine situation in eastern Africa.
However, our church staff encouraged (as they always do) that if Heartland was going to do this event, we were going to aim to do it really well. They set a goal to package 100,000 meals (which would take about 600 volunteers and $30,000). In order to accomplish this feat, we would be forced to wait until after the first of the year…we didn’t have an extra $30K in the 2011 budget. We were excited by the prospect of being able to make a greater impact but were simultaneously heart-broken at having to wait (it is estimated that 2,000 people per day are dying of starvation in the Horn of Africa).
Then, God moved.
A generous family from our church, approached our pastor about making an anonymous end-of-year gift of…you guessed it…$30,000. They knew nothing about our hopeful intentions for this Numana event. Our pastor prayed with this couple and offered some options about ways they might invest this gift.
So, we got the call a couple days before Thanksgiving. Our pastor said, “We’re gonna to do the Numana event. We want to pack 100,000 meals, and we want to pack them on December 17.” (That was three weeks away and happened to be the weekend before Christmas).
With such short notice, during the busiest time of the year, we were hopeful that we could scrape together the 600 volunteers we would need to package 100,000 meals. Suffice it to say, God had other plans for this event.
When the dust settled, 1,100 people had signed up to volunteer. People from our church were inviting their neighbors, Cub Scout packs, and basketball teams to be involved. People who had never been to a church before were planning to come help pack meals. What a fantastic outreach opportunity and a way for our church to exhibit the true heart of Christmas.
We had not anticipated this “problem,” and we really didn’t want to turn people away who wanted to serve. Logistics were reworked, more money showed up, and arrangements were made for extra food to package.
Bottom line, 141,288 meals are heading for the Horn of Africa. It was a good day.
The atrium of our church full of workstations
The boys with Grandpa and Mema
Sarah visiting with friends who came to serve
Ryan doing some "heavy" lifting
Fun with hairnets
Tweet Pin It