I watched a miracle unfold last week at the local American Legion Hall. Our church’s finance chair, Pat, had volunteered our church for an opportunity to raise funds for our youth group’s next mission trip. All we had to do was serve a hot dinner to 300 people. No kitchen is available at the American Legion Hall for those serving the dinners, so all the food had to be transported in, ready to serve, and we needed a small army of volunteers to do the serving while the food was hot. We also needed 300 servings of a variety of desserts. Pat set out to recruit volunteers to cook and to serve and to make desserts. Even with all of her efforts, however, the volunteers seemed limited. We were worried if we would have enough, and the dinner was fast approaching. The church secretary sent out a final plea for volunteers a couple of days before the dinner.
I hurried to the American Legion Hall the evening of the dinner with the two chocolate cakes I’d baked. The last I’d talked with Pat, she was still not sure if she had enough desserts for 300 or enough volunteers to serve that many dinners quickly enough. I arrived a bit later than I’d expected and told the doorkeeper that I was one of the volunteers. He pointed me toward the far corner of the American Legion Hall. When I reached the service area, I was astounded to find row upon row of cakes and cookies and pies already cut up and ready to serve as well as several dozen volunteers lined up. We had a team meeting, and our pastor offered up a prayer in the back room while we waited for the pledge of allegiance and the dinner prayer, our signal to serve dinner.
Tears filled my eyes as I looked around at the extravagant buffet of desserts and all of the volunteers who had shown up at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday evening. Several said they’d come after the last plea from the church secretary out of fear that no one would show up to help. One young mother, whose husband is currently deployed, had left her job in Temple and driven home to Ft. Hood to pick up her kids from daycare before turning around and driving back to Temple so they could have the experience of helping the church serve others. I’m not sure why I keep having to learn the lesson that my church family is amazing at responding, and that God always provides the resources we need when we step out to serve others. Last week I was reminded once again that I could trust God and trust my church family.
Grace and Peace,