John 6:35 – Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
So today Chesapeake Christian Fellowship (www.4theLord.org) spearheaded a community outreach event called Daily Bread. John 6:35 is the inspiration verse that drove us to Daily Bread. Pastor Christian, a man whom I have been with to Peru, was in charge of it and he hit a homerun!
Last year, CCF put together 500 boxes to take to the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, MD (HACA). This year, HACA approached us about taking care of all 741 of their residents. Of course, we said yes.
While my part of this adventure started at 7:30 AM the day of the event, the pastoral staff and countless volunteers worked weeks in advance to make sure this went off without a hitch. Every week the pastors would stand in front of the congregation and tell us what food product we were to bring in the next week. It was usually followed by some cute video. If I never hear the following song again, it will be too soon.
1 John 3:17 – But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
At 7:30 on 5/17 we met in the gym and it was amazing. The songs, being sung by June and his wife, Andrea, were inspiring and beautiful.
The crowd was large. I would venture to guess that at least 200 people showed up to make this happen.
Pastor Pat prayed and then we loaded up the trucks and headed to our destination.
Once we got to the address, we noticed an area that was surrounded by very expensive houses interspersed with the housing authority apartments. It got me wondering about our little Christian bubbles that the majority of us live in that may have problems, but they pale in comparison to basic survival needs. And then it gets me thinking about what we do on a daily basis that spits in the face of Christ and doesn’t follow the command to love, especially when we are told to love those who are naked, hungry, and in prison.
We started unloading and off we went.
Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
There are too many amazing stories to tell in this little blog, but I wanted to share a couple of them. I am changing the names of the people in case they or someone they know somehow find this blog.
First, there is Abby. She is a middle-aged woman whose son moved in a few years ago. They both have high blood pressure, so they took medication to keep that at bay. They couldn’t afford to get both sets of medications, so they only got the mother’s filled. She was using it and he was using it. As they started to run out of the medication, she told him that she needed it and couldn’t give it to him anymore until they could afford more. Later that week, he was cutting the grass, had a heart attack, and died. When we arrive to her door, she quietly allowed us into her home, saying she is a private person and doesn’t talk much about her life to others. Soon after, the tears were flowing. She shared her story and, as she shared, we could tell she felt like she had killed her own son. The guilt she had built up over the months had been eating away at her that she felt that she was to blame for everything.
Another story involves Marissa. She is a young, single mother of two. We met her as we were finishing up our deliveries. We had a few extra boxes left over and decided to go door to door in another neighborhood close by just to get rid of them. Marissa saw us coming and was waiting out on her porch. After asking her and her friend if they knew Jesus and praying with them, Marissa then launched into a game of 20 questions about the church we are from. She asked so many questions about the kids program for her two young children. You could tell that is where her heart was. We shared directions to the church and even offered to figure out a way to get her there if she needed one. I didn’t see her this morning, but with about a thousand people at church I rarely get a chance to see everyone.
Another amazing miracle that happened was simply with the food collection itself. With such a late Easter this year, food collection began a little later than expected and we needed to have enough food for at least 741 boxes. In the last week, we were still scrambling for food when a message came in that someone was donating 100 of every item needed to fill a box. By the end of the final week, we not only had enough food for 770 boxes to be made, but also enough to stock our weekly food pantry for a few weeks as well.
And the final, most amazing, miracle that occurred during Daily Bread 2014 was that at least 3 people gave their lives to Christ. That in itself is reason to celebrate and go back year after year to the HACA program.
Overall it was a beautiful Saturday that was spent with beautiful people with beautiful feet serving more beautiful people in the beautiful city of Annapolis, MD. A city of 40,000 people and 4.5 million visitors yearly just saw 3 more of their residents saved. Imagine if one church could see the power of the Holy Spirit save 3 people in one weekend simply by going out into the community, imagine what the other 100+ churches in the greater Annapolis area could accomplish on the 635 streets throughout Annapolis! Lives would be getting saved daily!
If you are a local pastor, elder, or ministry leader reading this, please consider emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can work together to bring the light of Jesus to this dark world, one city at a time.
Romans 10:15 – And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”