Food Pantry Update

Celebrating the one year anniversary of our new client choice pantry called Harvest: A Galley of Grace

Moving Forward in Ministry in 2011

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:28).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Eyes and Hearts Open to Those God Moments

        Callie came to the ministry center for food, but her eyes and her mannerisms spoke so much more. As she interviewed her during intake, Ena began sharing with her God's plan of salvation and His promises.  Callie said that she wanted to know, wanted to be saved, and was ready to take that step, but wanted to do it alone.  Ena respectfully allowed Callie a time of silence and meditation, then prayed with her.  Ena feels that Callie accepted Christ in her heart and will be able to follow up with her at her next visit.
        Christina hobbled into the center, also looking for food assistance.  But Christina was also looking for hope and healing.  When Fred introduced her to me, I noticed her disability and asked her to tell me about it.  One month ago, Christina was shot in both legs, the victim of random shooting going on nearby her walk home one evening.  She related to me the fear that she felt when she was shot; she thought that she was going to die.
        I told Christina that I could understand such a fear; it must have been terrifying.  Then I asked an important question:  "If that had been the case, where would you be today?"  She shook her head.  "I don't know.  I have wanted to be saved, but I just have never found a church that I liked to do it in."
        Friends, I have heard many reasons, many responses, but never this.  I told Christina that I did not recall anywhere in the Bible where it stated that a person had to find the right "church fit" in order to receive Christ's salvation.  Together, we turned to the book of Romans, chapter 3, and we read the words telling us that we are all sinners, we have all fallen short of God's glory.  We also read that we sinners, by professing faith in Jesus Christ, are justified before God because Jesus paid the price for our sins.  Christina asked to receive Christ that very day, and prayed a beautiful prayer asking for forgiveness and salvation.  Now, she is seeking with the Holy Spirit's help, a church that will nurture and disciple her.
        This month, our last Conversational English student "graduated" to the Conversational English School at First Baptist Church.  She is learning alongside over 167 other students of many nationalities, and her sweet daughter is enjoying the socialization with other children her age.  What a joy to see her take this bold new step!
         And let's not forget the miracle of the bread truck.  Over 300 loaves of delicious wheat berry bread were donated to give to families in need.  What a treat for them!  It seems that the truck had an accident, and the bakery instructed the company to distribute the bread to ministries who helped feed the hungry.  What a blessing - and not one case of bread had been damaged in the accident!
         Food distribution, clothing gift certificates, home visits with layettes for new moms, Bible studies, and even one - on - one counseling -- all of these "routine" activities are opportunities for the most important - to leave an indelible mark on each recipient so that he or she knows beyond the shadow of doubt that there is a God who loves and cares for them, and that He has a plan for each life that He has created.  There can be no other more important truth to convey to people in poverty - whether it is material poverty or poverty of spirit.
        This month, over 3.000 pounds of food were distributed for 286 family members of the guests who visited, and nearly 20% of those who visited were new guests.  As we minister to our guests, we ask that you join us in prayer, as we pray each morning before opening the doors, that "God's grace abound throughout the day", allowing us to see each guest through His eyes, and that He will use us as His vessels to give them hope and a smile.
         On October 14, you have the opportunity to visit Forest Park Ministry Center's Open House.  As we celebrate the ministry center's 15th birthday, we also invite you to see the refurbished facilities, to hear from those who invest time and energy into the ministry, and to learn how you might plug into what God is doing.  Come join us!

Joyfully serving,

Ways You Can Partner with Forest Park Ministry Center

* Have a food drive in your church
(get list from Donna)There is a dire shortage!
* Hold a Baby Shower for new moms who come to

the center; we need supplies for 12 layettes by October!
* Be a prayer partner and pray for our guests needs
* Need larger sized mens and womens clothing

must be in very good condition
*Hold a Paper supplies shower for the center

*Need a data entry volunteer once a week
*Need a small desk for the receptionist in the waiting area