Monday, November 25, 2013
Bountiful Harvest and Divine Appointments
Few nights of the year can even come close to matching the excitement of the Monday night before Thanksgiving in Gaylord, Michigan. That is Bountiful Harvest delivery night. Bountiful Harvest is a lay led ministry that brings 8 area churches together to make a difference and deliver the love and Gospel of Jesus to hundreds of people in our county. Tonight over 100 vehicles hand delivered full Thanksgiving meals to 670 homes. Each of these homes represents a family that is struggling financially. Along with the full Thanksgiving meal, each family also received the book, "The Purpose of Christmas," written by Rick Warren.
Our family always looks forward to participating in making these deliveries. As we take the meals into the homes we are assigned, we have the opportunity to meet these precious families and learn a little bit about them. We then ask if we can pray for them. If the are open to that (as was all of the families we delivered to tonight) we ask them if there is anything specific we can pray about for them. Sometimes they have specific things for us to pray about and sometimes they don't. Either way, we are able to stand in their homes and pray for God to reveal His love for them and to bless them. For many, this is most likely the first time that anyone has ever prayed for them in their home.
Each Bountiful Harvest I believe that God sets up a Divine Appointment. Tonight was no different. At one of the stops we delivered a meal to a mother who was home by herself. When I asked her how she was doing she hesitantly said, "fine." I responded by saying, "That answer didn't seem real confident." This mother said that they were going through a hard time. She then broke down crying and told our family that her 13-year old daughter had just attempted suicide 2 days ago. We were able to stand with this mother in her kitchen and pray for her teenage daughter and for her as a mom. I was then able to give her one of my cards and tell here that if I as a pastor could help in anyway that she could call me any time.
We also had another home that was a "cold call." All of the homes that are delivered to get a call in advance to let them know to expect the food delivery. This was a home that they could organizers could not get a hold of. We were so glad we still went to the home. We met a single mom there of 3 beautiful children who were eager to show us their play tattoos they had just put on their arms. The mom then shared with us that she really desires to get her kids into a church that has an active and fun children's program. What a thrill it was to tell her all about our children's ministry at E-Free and invite her and her precious children to join us!
Those are just 2 stories from 670 deliveries made tonight. How wonderful it is to be part of a church that truly believes in meeting people right where they are and help mover them where God wants them to be!