Thursday morning we had the opportunity to serve others - to put our "feast' on hold and give to those around us through Feed The Community, a community-wide outreach in Spartanburg County. Before Dan, Before Africa - while living and serving in Spartanburg, I helped with the organization of Feed The Community - when it was feeding only about 5,000. Only 5,000. Now they are serving and feeding around 10,000... WOW!
This year, Dan and I really wanted to spend Thursday morning delivering meals to some of those thousands of people. We were given a route to one of the poorest areas in Spartanburg county - parts I had never even ventured into until now. Even I was a little uneasy. As we drove through this area in search of our homes, I was overcome with reminders that Spartanburg is filled with hurting and needy people. Our first stop was a home of 9 - it was no bigger than a two bedroom single-wide trailer with 9 precious people living there. Our second stop was a family of four. Our third stop was what got me... We drove up to the run-down double wide. I walked on to the porch, unsure if it would even support me and we knocked and knocked on their door. No one answered. I have to admit, I was kinda frustrated after a few minutes of standing there with two pies and 6 meals for their family. I finally called the phone number that I had for them and they weren't home - but in Chesnee?!? After a few minutes of my broken Spanish and their broken English, we were able to communicate to one another that they did not need their meals after all. I was perplexed though - what in the world were we going to do with their 6 meals and 2 pies!?! As we walked back to our car, I remembered that on our way to the second home, there was an old home with a man sitting on his front porch and his front door wide-open. I told Dan, we could just pull in and ask him if he would like to have the meals?!? I think Dan thought I was off my rocker! We drove back toward his house. Again, I was a little uneasy... the dog growling across the street and the open house with no one around didn't help! We called out and finally the man came to the wide- open front door. I explained who we were and that we had six extra meals and two pies. I asked him if he would like to take them - and with a huge smile on his face, he replied, "well, I ain't ever gonna turn down no free food... I wasn't sure i was gonna get no meal today..."
Were you worried about NOT getting a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday? I wasn't... I knew that as soon as we finished our routes that I was going to head up to my parents house and have quite the feast with Dan and my parents. I also knew that on Friday, we would head to Dan's family's for a second feast... It never once crossed my mind that I would not have turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potato soufflé and pecan pie. In fact, it's NEVER once crossed my MIND! Even while living in Africa, I had no fear that I would get an amazing Thanksgiving Feast - yet all around me on Thanksgiving morning, at least 10,000 in Spartanburg woke up and wondered...
As we sat down to enjoy our feast together - I was reminded of that man. He was eating a yummy meal today. The two people in his house were also eating a yummy meal today and they even got to enjoy pie afterwards. I was also reminded of the love and blessings that the Father and our families have lavished upon us and couldn't help but just stop and simply praise Him!
"Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
give THANKS to Him and praise His name."