Saturday, November 9th we arrived for the 40th time on Scott Mill Chapel’s campus to serve a meal and were humbled beyond measure and a little bit heartbroken. For the first time ever-Forever Fed ran out of food on our serving line at this location and there were 15 people still waiting for meals. We took enough food to feed 175 people and God helped us stretch that food to actually serve 202. This was the largest number of individuals we’ve ever served at this event. My husband Bob and the serving line volunteers looked into the faces of 15 folks in line and had tell them they would not be receiving meals. Those people had waited 20-30 mintues for nothing. Since each person in line usually represents a family of two to four people, the harsh reality was were probably short about thirty to sixty meals. At the end of the night we prayed and asked God to provide abundantly for those families who did not receive meals. We know, without a doubt, those families are in His hands.
Did we fail? No, absolutely not. We served 202 meals in love and we gave absolutely everything we had. We did our best and we’ll let God do the rest. In my heart I know God was glorified by our service.
Here is what was so encouraging and amazing. We’ve invested in this neighborhood in countless ways and now that investment is bearing more fruit that ever before.
Here are some small stories from that evening.
- Three young mothers came together with their children. One was the wife of an American soldier who was serving in Afghanistan. We forget how little we pay our soldiers. Her children were cold and restless and ready to go home but she needed something that night that we had to give. A meal for her family and clothing for her kids. It was an honor to serve a military family.
- A middle aged couple experiencing strife due to the food stamp cutbacks came to the event for the first time ever. One of our volunteers helping them find clothing said, “They were so thrilled. They looked through the racks of used clothing like they were shopping at Neiman Marcus!” I actually gave this couple a ride home and they were just gushing with thankfulness for the many blessings they’d received that night and they asked, “What time is Church in the morning?”
- One of our regular guests came after he got off of work but we were out of food. I apologized profusely for running short and his reply was not disappointment but excitement. He said, “Wow! I heard y’all fed over 200 people tonight. That’s amazing! I’ll be sure to see you next Saturday at Crisler Street and I’ll try to get there in time to help you set up.” We see this all of the time. In the last three years of serving these folks they’ve grown from being “takers” and morphed into “givers”. It turns out that living by example really does bear fruit. Not only that, he was concerned for my feelings and tried to make me feel better. This is the behavior of a friend. There’s no more “us and them” there’s just “us”.
- One of our other ‘regulars’ who has been homeless off and on over the years asked if he could take a box of meals to his neighbors. We said “Of course you can!” So he packed up his meals and off he went. This man who is near and dear to our hearts wanted to give back to the very people who have helped and supported him for the last several years. Empowering others to give back and be a blessing to their nieghbors may be one of the most fruitful things we do.
- One of our new guests came to me and twirled while modeling her new coat. She’d found it amongst the clothing we distributed and she was just beaming with joy over her find. If you were the one who donated a light pink knee length women’s coat to us your donation brought great joy to one of God’s precious children. Thank you.
In the 21st chapter of John, Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” and Peter declares His love for Jesus multiple times and then Jesus tells him to “Feed my sheep, take care of my sheep, and feed my lambs.” These statements by Jesus are not only for us to see to physical needs of others but spiritual needs as well. What do His lambs and sheep look like? They look like the people I described above.
Forever Fed, Inc. a mobile ministry. We thought God was nuts when He led us to travel into needy neighborhoods and just love on people. His direction for this ministry was very clear to the leadership. He kept showing us to feed and love others and to lead by example in His name. What a crazy idea. But, through being obedient and staying our course, look what happened.
A community grew in love for each other and God was glorified.
Thank you all so much for your support!