January 22, 2012

Moved By Generosity...

A couple of months ago some members from my church community along with myself were doing some mission work in Lexington, NE. During our time in Lexington we were moved by the generosity that we saw in the projects that were taking place in the churches and in the schools. One of the projects that stood out was a back pack program for a local school that was supported by a local food pantry. One of the ladies that was with me was so moved by what she learned, that in the 5 hour drive home had put together a plan for a food pantry for our community back home. Not only was the plan in place by the time we got home, but by the next morning she had already talked with school counselors and local church leaders. That was the first weekend in November. She formed a committee, found a location, started taking donations and the food pantry was open by December, with some early boxes sent out before Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to the official dedication next week. Since its opening, more and more people are hearing about it, and hours of operation have been increased to meet the need. It already has become a wonderful gift to the community.

A couple of weeks ago our 6th 7th and 8th graders got together to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring. This is a nationwide service campaign that addresses poverty and hunger around the world. I think that many of our youth were surprised to learn that poverty and hunger exist within their very own community. I think that it is often easy to dismiss hunger as something that exists in far away countries. When actually, 35 million people in the United States live in households considered to be food insecure. This is enough people to fill over 500 NFL stadiums. This is staggering, and a strong reminder of the importance and value of our new food pantry as it addresses the most basic human need. Through this valuable resource individuals and families are able to put meals on their tables - providing food for the bodies, relief to the minds, and nourishment to their souls.

Some things have really stood out to me in watching the development of the food pantry. First, is the way in which a need was seen, action was immedialy taken, and support was and continues to be positive and strong. I am truly moved by the generosity in the time, energy, organizational skills, gifts of money and food products given. Now that the pantry is up and running they want to extend the giving power with a back pack program. It is awesome! I am also moved with the ability of this new venture to bring people of all ages, churches, towns, cultures and families together.

It is a beautiful reminder that we have a Generous God - A God who loves to fill our cups of blessing until they are overflowing. God gives to us so generously and by this has provided a pattern of giving for us to adopt - Giving generously out of love! Because of our generous God we can be moved to be generous with our talents and abilities, generous with our time, generous in sharing our learning, generous in our encouragement and praise, and generous in our hospitality.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” - 1 John 3:17-18

I am proud to live and serve in this community. I pray that the community continues in its excitement and support of this wonderful gift. The food pantry has been and continues to be a powerful witness of God’s love working through the loving hearts and giving hands of our community.


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