Testimony of God’s Mercy ~ Yesterday
In 1 Kings 17, we look at the story of Elijah unfolding during the dark days of Ahab’s reign. Similar to the widow, who in the midst of turmoil, was called in faith to feed Elijah, GRC has been called during a pandemic and national crisis. As we have been still and waiting upon the Lord during this season, we see God on the move; helping us to witness a resurrection.
You see, the Wanaque church that birthed Father’s Cupboard had closed its doors and halted its food pantry operations. After careful deliberation and Spirit-leading, our Diaconate faithfully heard the call and gave Father’s Cupboard new life. The temporary biweekly care, provided throughout this past holiday season, will now be a permanent food pantry of GRC.
Testimony of God’s Mercy ~ Today
This also about how God is engaging us to work together in the community (Luke 4:25–26). Since October, we have had five distributions, and God provided such an outpouring of support and faith:
- 100+ people donated their time, efforts, and resources.
- Three local churches sent food, gift stockings, and paper/plastic bags for packing.
- Outside organizations, like the Boy Scouts, donated and helped to sort food. United Way set up gift registries on Target and Amazon websites so that food could be shipped directly. Bergen County Food Security Task Force donated grocery gift cards.
- Autismradio.org bestowed toys for a hundred children.
- Logistical and supply assistance from our GRC partners, like Star of Hope Ministries and Servant’s Heart.
- People from the community donated food and money: 300+ chickens and turkeys and $5,000 contribution.
- Last but not least, GRC’s Sponsor a Family generated food and gifts for sixty families, ensuring an incredible Christmas distribution.
These initial efforts have helped launch the ministry, but more work needs to be done to help the growing number of people (120 people/40 families) we serve. We can’t do this alone, and we’re looking for more volunteers. We need men and women, who see the vision and mission of GRC, to step out in faith to help the food insecure. In addition to your participation, consider asking your neighbors and friends to help make a difference in someone’s life.
Testimony of God’s Mercy ~ Tomorrow
During this effort, the Diaconate has already experienced the value of the pantry. As individuals come to the Diaconate seeking Mercy Fund assistance, we have been able to provide not only their request for financial help (eg, rental, medical, utility), but also specifically address their food insecurity needs.
Through Christ, God is providing endless opportunities with no boundaries to build and equip us as a church to be intentionally living in relationship with our community. He is already bringing others to our church and engaging them through these initial efforts. Our testimony of His Mercy is clearly evident.
Moving forward, we envision our community with access to sufficient and nutritious food so that recipients might be inspired to help and serve others as they themselves have been comforted. It is our mission to unite the community, to nourish our neighbors-in-need by feeding the body, nourishing the soul, and our hope that they can begin to see Christ in us through our service, kindness and relationships by building bridges.
If you want to make a difference, considering serving and supporting Father’s Cupboard. Our next distribution is Sat, January 16th so there is much to do this week. Here’s how you can get started:
- Donate items from the Winter Shopping List or arrange to have them delivered directly to GRC
- Volunteer on distribution day (every second and fourth Saturday): 9AM – 10:45AM (sort & set up), 10:45AM (prayer), 11AM – 12:30PM (distribution), and 12:30PM. – 1:30PM (clean up)
- Many levels of volunteer opportunities. For volunteering and questions, please contact Sherry Davis or the Diaconate.
Werner Tretner serves on the Diaconate and is the Director of Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered recovery program.