Monday, February 20, 2012

Smoke by Day, Fire by Night

Recently my quiet time has been reading in the book of Exodus. When Moses lead God’s people out of Egypt, God promised to show them the way. God lead them with a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. Does God go before you when you head out on a journey? We experience this all the time. Since, we started over eight and half years ago, God continues to supply our needs.

Several weeks ago one of my customers gave us some scrap metal to sell to buy can goods. We had four buckets of different material s to sell. Crossroads Recycling put the money in an envelope for us and I just added it to the grocery cash bag. We have been trying to stretch our grocery money budgeted for one week to two weeks. So, Dan Boomershine and I, made out our shopping list and off to Aldis we went. It took us about one hour to fill four grocery carts. We had them really loaded. As we put the groceries on the checkout belt, we usually get questions from others waiting in line to pay. Are you buying for a pantry? Where is the pantry located? It looks like you have a lot. Could we give you some cash to help buy the groceries? Every question was a divine appointment to share God’s provision for us with the folks in line.

As the cashier totaled things up he said that will be $799.98. I said let’s see how much God has in the bag today. When I added the scrap cash to what we had I had totaled it at $776.00. I pulled the wad of cash out of the envelope and started to count it out for the cashier. I laid the money on the counter, as I was counting it out for him. One hundred, two hundred, then up to seven hundred now I am into the smaller bills, seven fifty, seven sixty, seven seventy, seven eighty, I looked out the amount I had written on the front of the bag, $776. I kept going seven ninety, ninety one, ninety two, ninety three, ninety four, finally I got to ninety nine and the cashier said ninety eight cents. I handed him one more dollar, I had one dollar left. The cashier’s reaction was priceless, whoa! I told him isn’t God good. He just smiled.
I told Dan I felt like the Bailey Brothers. Dan got to see God provide that day as well as the cashier and a pair of brothers, who we were able to give them a ride home and pray with. You see when God sends you out on His mission, He will not only provide what you need to accomplish the mission but use you to minister to those around you that are watching.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Special Gift

Each year Trish and Allen Sparks give us a special financial gift in memory of their granddaughter, Caden. I never know how God will use this gift. This year, He used it in a very special way, to give a family hope. God had me at locations where I wasn’t supposed to be. To meet people who were part of His plan. To be standing in the pantry warehouse so I could hear the phone ring. When I answered the phone, a young mom asked if we were still giving out Christmas. I had told her that our Christmas project had ended on the Saturday before. She told me we had helped her friend yesterday. We did help a mom through the Beech Grove School system. She pleaded that she had a special needs little girl age 5 ½ and a little boy, age 4. Could we please help? God knew these two families were connected. So, I got the mom’s name and address. I headed out on a fact finding mission. Little did I know that God had sent me on another life changing mission.

When I arrived at the home, Jessica answered the door. I got to meet her little girl, Kaylianna. My heart just sunk. I was expecting a family that was working the system. I saw a little girl who has a terminal birth defect, Trisomy 13 syndrome. Most children don’t live to see their first birthday and she is 5 ½. I gathered information on the kid’s sizes and I told Jessica that we would return with Christmas for her kids. Before I left, I asked where her little boy was. She told me he was at grandma’s house. He didn’t think Santa would come to their house because they had no Christmas tree. “I’ll see if we have one at the pantry” I told her. I set off on this task.

I went to South Grove and told the staff what I had discovered. How it just tugged on my heart that this could be this little girl’s last Christmas. When I shared about the little boy and the Christmas tree, they had the staff pack up the tree in the school lobby. The gals got on their coats and off to Wal-Mart we went. They asked me what their limit was. I said there was no limit. They quickly filled the shopping cart with beautiful things for Kaylianna and Atwain. We also got a sleeve of unbreakable balls for the Christmas tree, so Kaylianna could enjoy them.

They headed back to the school to start wrapping the gifts. Before I could get there to pick them up, I got a call from KFC on Emerson Ave. The manager told me that they had a food drive and had two frozen turkeys. Could we use them for a family for Christmas dinner? I told her I would be right over.
I picked up the gifts and tree at the school and thanked them for helping minister to this special family.

That evening, Paula, our son Mike and I delivered the gifts to Jessica and her kids. Kaylianna loved the sleeve of Christmas tree balls. She was so excited with the bright colors. Jessica just wept. She couldn’t believe that strangers would help her. We all gave her a big hug and prayed with her before we left. We told her that is what we do is to share God’s love.

It started with the Sparks gift; God knew where that gift was going. He knew who He was going to use to connect all the dots. He knew we would reach out to a single mom and her kids to give them hope.

What a blessing to be used each month in miraculous ways to serve our Savior as His hands and feet

Monday, March 8, 2010

Christmas Surprises

It started with a couple getting married the first Saturday in December, they asked their guests to help them feed our families with a Christmas ham instead of getting wedding gifts for themselves. Each family who came to pick up their gifts or went to the Santa Shop was blessed with a ham for Christmas dinner.

Our toy connection had given their toys to Channel 6, one week before we were to give them away in the Santa Shop. God had already put things in place that we didn’t even know about, yet. I got a call from one of the Pastors at The Creek, one day after learning about the toys. He asked me if we had any needs for Christmas. I shared what had happened less than twenty four hours before. They told their folks of our need and within 48 hours God supplied through those people two truck loads of coats, hats, gloves and toys for the Santa Shop. Even after we had completed the distribution at South Grove there were still thirteen families we hadn’t helped.

As we were putting left over things away for next year, several groups brought more toys. I asked God are we to take care of those thirteen too? His response was just about instant, more toys came in. So, we did set up the Santa Shop in the pantry and blessed those last families on Christmas Eve. Tears flowed as moms and dads got things for their kids after already giving up hope. All together God used all of you and us to bless 231 families with 598 children.

I would like to conclude with just one special story. Linda and I were trying to decide where to eat lunch on Friday before the distribution. We hardly ever ate lunch at this restaurant, that day we did. As I was making calls to families for the Santa Shop, a young man came up to us with a note written on a napkin. Do you have Christmas? We said yes. Could I get Christmas for my daughter? We said yes. We told him when and where to come the next day. God put us there for His purpose. You see, God can use you too if you let Him. He will put you at the right place at His time and to share His love even if you have to communicate through a restaurant napkin. Here is that young man’s picture with his little girl.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Blessings

Another year comes to a close and God’s blessings continue to flow through our ministry in a mighty way.

In our regular pantry operations we saw the numbers continue to go up. We are now seeing 70-90 families a week, blessing between 650 and 800 lives each month. Over six hundred new families came in 2009. We have served over 2,900 families since opening in October of 2003.

At Thanksgiving we had planned for 350 families. Total cost of the groceries was over $15,000. God did raise up groups and individuals to meet that need and added resources for 114 more families. God is so good to us. All totaled for that week 464 families were fed, blessing 1,712 lives. For all of you, who had a part in this outreach, thank you!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Life's Journey

Dear Faithful,
We had seen an increase of 26% in family visits from January '08 to January '09 and the weather was bad for several days. We have already seen over 70 families this month. Our needs will continue to increase. I praise God for His miraculous supply. In a few days we will be receiving the second half of our CERF grant, an additional $10,000. We won't have to fret about the rent this year. PTL!!!!!
We visited one of our new supporting churches, LifePoint Church, the last two weeks. We tried something new. We used yellow bags with a list of pantry staples on it for the folks to return the following Sunday. They left the bags behind their cars and trucks and the 5th and 6th graders went around the parking lot picking them up. Yellow bags filled our truck. After we got the final count we had collected 2,397 items. The clients had a variety this week they don't normally have. Thanks to the Zone 56 kids for organizing the food drive. We are excited about LifePoint partnering with us.
I would like to tell you about two people that God had brought back into my life this week.
First, I would like to tell you about a young mother who we helped several years ago. She lived in the inner city in not a very good place but we shared God's love with her. We helped her get furnishings for her house when she had nothing. She had made some bad choices in her life and they caused her to loose custody of her son. Just last week God had put her back in my path to help. She has moved into the Beech Grove area now. She is trying to make better choices this time around to get her son back. Pray for us as we try to minister to her and her son.
Second, God reminded me of an old friend last week, Jim Flanders. Jim and his wife Judy attend church at LifePoint Church. Our newest supporting church. God put Jim in my life 41 years ago when I was an eighth grader in his math class. Jim took a liking to me and took me under his wing. You see, Jim invited me to the Methodist church in Beech Grove where he attended back then. He and one of my other teachers, Ron Melbert, were my Sunday school teachers. They had a positive influence on my life. In today's mixed up world they might not have had the freedom to ask a young man to church. I was so thankful to share with Jim a couple of Sundays ago that God may not be using me in the ministry today, if it wouldn't have been for that eighth grade math teacher sharing God's love with me.
Has God used someone in your life to have an impact on you? Call them up or drop them an email to let them know how God is using you today.
In His Service,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2008 Blessings

Dear Faithful,

We were so blessed in 2008. We had seen the number of total client visits jump from 2204 in 2007 to 2561 in 2008. As the number of clients continued to rise God continued to supply the need. We had received three grants in the last quarter of the year. We were blessed with $10,000 from St. Paul's Episcopal, $13,500 from the Efroymson fund, and $20,000 from the CERF fund. In November, we were seeing as many as 80+ families per week.

We had seen food drives from schools, corporations and civic organizations. Our holiday projects were such a miraculous blessing. At Thanksgiving, dozens of volunteers came and pack boxes. We had 301 cars come through our world famous "Turkey drive thru" and we served 46 families hot meals on Thanksgiving morning. All total God supplied over $11,000 worth of food to feed 1,283 people.

Once, Thanksgiving was completed our Christmas project began. Times were very hard this year for our clients and our sponsors. Yet God rose up folks that had never been involved before and those who have helped us from the very beginning. South Grove Intermediate School in Beech Grove graciously allowed us to use the gym for wrapping and distribution. What a blessing to spread everything out one time. We had corporations and school students and teachers adopt families. After all the deliveries were done, we were able to help 196 families and bless 493 children.

I had gotten an email from one mom that I just want to share. Because, it is how God uses us to make a difference. This mom had a 4th grader whose class room had adopted a famliy were the special request of a pair of little girls was bicycles. The classroom had not collected enough money to get the bikes. So, she went home to share with mom that she really wanted to see the girls get the bikes. Mom set her down and told her she would work an extra shift but she would have to give up part of her Christmas, too. Well the little girl was okay with that and the mom was able to get the bikes. Mom said it really made for a wonderful Christmas for them to give to others. That is how God touched this family through us. He continues to touch families every week. Come and help us serve the needs of families in 2009.

In His Service
Bill Boone

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stamp out Hunger Day May 10th

Thanks to all who were able to come out and help. It was such a blessing to have our own truck, so we didn't have to come back to the pantry and unload on Saturday. The gracious people of Beech Grove gave and gave. Food totals for 2008 are 6,924 items weighing 7,320 pounds. What a blessing.

God Bless and have a Greeeaaatt Day,