When our Storehouse began, we didn’t have fridge space, and we didn’t do any local food pickups. We counted everything through the dry room, as we do now, but just guessed in the cold room. Everyone got an item from the fridge, another from the freezer, and large families took 2 of each.
Now we pick up bread and sweets from Panera, prepared food from Hendrix, pizza from the Pizza Ranch and Larry’s Pizza, pastries from Ed’s Bakery, Julies Sweet Shoppe, and Patti Cakes, dairy and produce from Kroger, sandwiches from Kum & Go, sliced bread and produce from Soul Food Café Mission, and rice from Ralston Family Farms.
Part of the reason I mention all those places is so you might patronize them sometime and maybe even thank them for donating to us. And by the way, the Sunday Brunch at Hendrix is incalculably good!
Since we weigh all these items in, and weigh what of them is left over before we take those items to a sister agency, we can know just how much of our picked up food we’re giving away each week. And the average for the first three months this year?
Drum roll, please….
We’ve given away an average of 1100 pounds of picked up food each week. On top of the 1600 or so pounds that leaves our dry room.
Are you as amazed by what Jesus is doing here as I am?
And speaking of what Jesus is doing, Feed the Need is Sunday. Have I mentioned that?
A literal army of store employees, volunteers, and shoppers are going to make this city-wide food donation event happen. And this year, I can add the phrase, rain or shine. Of course, we pray for sunshine, but we pray more earnestly for God’s will and work and purpose to be achieved in all of us.
Bobby, a relentless Second Baptist Church member and Storehouse volunteer, was once again today in the crawl space underneath the warehouse shoring up floor joists. We’ve prayed about that too, that God would hold our warehouse together as we prepare to put a record amount of food in it since that space became our warehouse.
This year’s Feed the Need has seen growth from five stores to eight. Which means eight support churches, eight trucks, drivers, more boxes, pallets, tape, signs… preparation has been like birthing a buffalo. Not that I would know anything about birthing. Or buffaloes, for that matter. It’s been like sucking peanut butter through a straw. Yeah, that’s more in my wheelhouse.
And I can speak for Laura here too, when I say that the grace of Jesus has shown up in people over and over. He has sent people with trucks, and boxes, and fork lifts. He’s sent people to ask, what can I do? He’s sent churches full of people who will shop and host store sites with volunteers, and help us unload our trucks. He’s sent store managers who said they’d be glad to participate.
And then there’s the small army of folks who have been lifting us up in prayer for I don’t even know how long.
Sunday will be the climax of a grace party that began months ago. I hope you get to participate in some way, whether it’s a prayer or a can of ravioli.
Today, we served 65 precious People that Jesus Loves. That’s the lowest first Thursday of the month total this year. Someone said it was probably the rain.
And speaking of Thursday serving, this month we serve for the first time ever on a Thursday evening. The last Thursday, April 25, we’ll open our door for the first time that day at 4:30. And we’re still looking for volunteers. If you think you could join us, please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s a process for volunteering, but it can be quick and easy. Please, let me know.
I don’t have a great story to tell from today’s serving. I worked almost entirely in Feed the Need prep. Our warehouse is gorgeously empty; exactly what we’d planned. I handled a lot of pallets and boxes, and I’m exhausted.
Last thing before I left the center, I sat down in Laura’s office and we shared with each other our Feed the Need movements for the next three days. Now I suddenly wish I’d prayed with her. I want and need to start doing that more. Just getting to the throne with another person.
And now, at 5:30, I’m at home on my couch, precisely where my day began, twelve hours ago. I sat here with a cup of coffee, worked through scheduled verses in my verse remembery program. I can’t memorize them; just remember them. Then it was today’s reading in my YouVersion Bible reading app.
And then I asked Jesus to just take this day, and get his glory and worship in spite of me. In spite of all my fears, and worries, and doubts. That he would be revealed and worshiped in the Storehouse.
That he would be the reason.
And he was.
I am the Storehouse Director and get the privilege of writing about the people that Jesus loves.
Contact Mike Rush at email@example.com for all things "Volunteer".
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