A Simple Act Of Obedience
Our local food shelf said many in our community were lonely and/or lacked skills or time to cook. They challenged us to meet those needs.
Pastor, River Heights Vineyard Church, MN
Five years ago Happy Leman challenged the Midwest region to pray into how we could reach the people in our community that other churches aren’t trying to reach. We prayed and felt God moving us to expand our facility and feed the community around us.
It Started With A Need
Our local food shelf said many in our community were lonely and/or lacked skills or time to cook. They challenged us to meet those needs by offering free hot meals and suggested we connect with an organization called Loaves & Fishes. Their mission is to serve prepared meals in communities with food scarcity. They provide the food, a chef/volunteer coordinator, and a web site where people can sign up to volunteer. We provide the kitchen, the dining facility, and the large majority of the volunteers.
With their help we started offering dinner twice per week in February 2015. In the first full year of partnership we have moved to serving dinner five nights per week to an average crowd of 50-60 people per night. The partnership has been wonderful! We have a number of families and individuals coming into relationship with Jesus and our church that we’d never have met, and we’ve found we’re reaching those who come to volunteer just as much as those who come to eat.
One example is an older woman who has been a faithful Catholic for many decades. She has served with us for every meal we’ve offered! When we suspended community meals for a week for Vacation Bible School she asked if she could serve there instead, and since then she has started coming to some of our services. She’s going with us on a missions trip to central Mexico this Spring.
We have been forever transformed by listening to the voice of our leaders (thanks Happy!), the needs of our community, and the voice of God. It has been a joy!
3 Ways to Partner with God Today
- God can speak through our leaders. Pay attention to what he might be saying through those who are overseers.
- When we don’t have resources, start with prayer! God can show us ways we never imagined to partner with him.
- Partner with other Christians around you. We don’t need to be lone rangers—often the resources we need are right next door!