When a community joins together to help their neighbors, they are doing what Jesus would do. They are being the church, a Church without Walls. People from different churches or no church at all, together, doing God stuff!
My husband is a pastor in town, and there is a group of pastors who pray weekly. This group, Church without Walls, responded to the needs of the community by initiating the Corona Help page on The Gathering church’s website. The web page was set up for people to give help or ask for help. However, God had bigger plans. What started out as a way of connecting people to do errands for shut-ins has grown into the current food pantry drop-off and pick-up feeding program.
The amazing thing is that, so far, the pantry has continued, week to week, with little or no outside help, but solely by food and cash donations from the community. It’s like the loaves and fishes stories in the Bible. Jesus blessed a few loaves of bread and some fish, and his friends were able to take that and feed the crowds. We pray that, as we work, God provides exactly what we need, every week and He has.
This has been the case, even as the weekly needs and donations have exponentially grown. On the first day, March 30, we got several donations but distributed nothing. We got more donations, the following week and distributed to a few. On April 15, we started counting and realize, now, that, anywhere between 44 and 75 families have been served weekly. At the end of the day, the tables are empty. Before the next distribution day, the tables are full, again. No matter what the numbers have been, the cycle has continued. Thankfully, and just in time, new state and county sources are being made available to us in the coming weeks.
The volunteers have been amazing. Not only have they served faithfully and tirelessly, they are having fun, making memories and new friends. Working, side by side and seeing God at work, has created a special bond between us.
Someone asked me if I had managed a project such as this in the past. First of all, I am no project manager; it has been a group effort. Secondly, I have never even been a part of something like this. Honestly, it has been a wild ride, and I’ve just been hanging on for dear life!
This project has been a success because of all the people involved. We have been blessed with great volunteers, as well as our volunteer administrative assistant, who coordinates them all. Each one has humbly shown up, day after day, joining in the organized chaos. We have worked as a group, figuring this thing out, learning as we go, and we’re still learning! Anyone interested in coming along for the ride, you are welcome to join us. It will be a life-changing experience.
To volunteer at the food pantry, call Susan at (214) 504-8623To give help or get help, go to thegatheringchurch.net and click on “Corona Help”