As I watched some 50 men worship and feast on every word Pastor Travis Agnew was teaching, I wondered what had brought the large group of men to the early service at Rocky Creek Church. While our families gathered around a table for lunch, Travis explained the men were Overcomers, and then he proceeded to paint this beautiful picture of a place called Miracle Hill. I was captivated as he shared about the many layers of a local ministry and how the compassion and wisdom of just one organization impacts so many people across the city of Greenville. Little did I know that God began that very day weaving and reweaving my own place at Miracle Hill.
It is no wonder I landed at the Miracle Hill Food Warehouse serving as Case Manager. The beauty of working in women’s ministry for some 20 years consisted of the regular gathering around a table. Whether a cup of coffee and dessert at a Bible Study, an elegant meal at a large event, or a small group meeting over lunch, the table always served as an invitation to gather. Food acted as a means of bringing people together and creating opportunities to share the gospel, build relationships, and encourage women to press on regardless of life’s challenges. When we invited women to the table, we found opportunities to invite them to Jesus.
That is how I see the Food Warehouse – an invitation to the table. It’s a place for those who have found themselves facing challenging situations in life to come and receive from God’s storehouse of grace. Our job is to invite those who find themselves at empty tables to partake from God’s table of abundance. God is the source, and we are the resource. God supplies, and we give from His supply.
Christ Fills the Hungry
It is amazing how God supplies food at the Warehouse. We receive food from a variety of individuals, churches, businesses, and groups. Sometimes people drive up and open up the trunks of their cars and unload the food. Other times, churches or groups donate through food drives. Trucks deliver boxes daily from generous businesses while individuals send needed items through Amazon. While these generous people serve as the hands and feet of Jesus by meeting the needs of the homeless, hurting, and needy, we stand in awe of His provision and remain grateful for every item received. Psalm 81:10 says, “Open wide your mouth that I may fill it.” Indeed, He does. Whatever is needed by the shelters or individuals, He not only supplies the need, He more than exceeds it.
When the Creator of fish and grain took what little was supplied and broke it to feed a multitude, the breaking was to have more. As He broke the bread, more was provided. Jesus not only fed the 5,000 men, plus women and children, He told the disciples to “gather the leftover fragments so that nothing would be lost.” The story speaks not only of having enough but more than enough. When Jesus prepares a table and breaks bread, there is always more and more. When He gives, He gives generously. When He pours, He overflows. In God’s economy, broken fragments bring multiplicity, whether in a food warehouse or a life.
A Table that Empowers
The ultimate goal is to offer more than a simple box of food; we want to provide some tools for people to take a step in the right direction. A box of food will meet short term needs, but if we can unfold some new ways of thinking, some additional resources, and a lot of encouragement, we can offer a step forward on a path toward a brighter tomorrow. We don’t want to hand out merely a box of food; we want to point them to a Savior and empower them to become all that God created them to be by using their own gifts, knowledge, and skills. We believe He can use the Food Warehouse as a starting point by taking an immediate need and then creating a future plan toward a self-sustaining lifestyle. When a person comes to us with a temporary need for food, our prayer is that a box of food will then lead to permanent solutions over time. Hopefully, God’s story at Miracle Hill will intersect their story, and they can walk into a new chapter of a transformed life.
So we open our doors wide and set extra seats at the table so that everyone who walks in knows they belong. For the weary and worn out, the hopeless and hurting, the beaten down and broken, all are invited to the table, and we hope every single person who enters the Food Warehouse leaves with an overflowing box of hope.
Tammy Wimmer serves as Case Manager at Miracle Hill’s Food Warehouse. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.