We see people with cardboard signs all the time that say, HUNGRY or NEED FOOD. But what can you do about it? What if you could help a family that is in need get food in a dignified way? This is the question that we have been working to answer over the last couple of months. So at Elevation Christian Church we have an amazing group of volunteers that take our building and set it up for a free market that helps people that live in our community that are in need get food in a dignified way.
So to do this we work with an organization that helps us provide quality food through the free market to the people in our community. We choose to work with this organization because most of the time when you ask people to donate food they give you the food products that they don’t like (sauerkraut) or have had for years. (Expiration not noticed) Or when you ask people to donate money they think they are already helping someone by giving them money as the pass by them holding their cardboard sign. I watched a TED TALK where the Mayor of Albuquerque talked about how by donating financially to a food bank or free market can make a greater impact when it comes to helping people get food. Unfortunately when we give someone money on the street is less likely to go to feeding them but to feeding their addiction. So at the Free Market at Elevation we are able to purchase large amounts of quality food where we can then give it to the people that are in need for FREE. That is why it is called, “The Free Market at Elevation.”
Through the amazing volunteers at Elevation we create a mini grocery store with grocery carts and all where people can get the food they need for themselves and for their families. We also have people called, “Shoppers Helpers” that walk through the Free Market with the people from the community to build a relationship with them. It is not someone that probes about their issues or their needs but someone that can become a friendly face. Then once the person is done going through the market the shoppers helper asks how they can pray for that person and gives them a card or some encouragement. We recently had over 100 second graders from a local school come and help set-up and while they helped they also created cards to give to the shoppers of the Free Market. I was told that one man went through the market for the first time where he recieved his food, had someone pray with him, and then he recieved one of the second graders cards. What I was told was the man thanked his shoppers helper for their prayers, then began to walk out of the building, while he was on the front walk way he read the card from one of the second graders. He was so overcome with with the care and the card that he came back into the building with tears streaming down his face to let the volunteers know how thankful he was for the food, the care, and the card. He said that it was all just what he needed that day.
I tell you this because you can be a part of the Free Market at Elevation. You can help people that are in need of food by your donations and when you donate you know that they are getting quality food and dignified care at the same time. Just click here. Because when you do you will be doing what is best for the person that is most likely going to be holding a sign some day saying, “In need of food”. Be a part of the movement to make sure that someone is being fed and fed well physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
This week we started our message series for Christmas and we used the movie “Scrooged” as an example of what most people think about Christmas. What is it that most people think about Christmas? That Christmas is about them, about what they want, about what presents that have. After Black Friday where a man was trampled to death while protecting a pregnant women in a store and then two men shot each other to death over a gift in Toys R Us. It really challenges me to bring to the forefront the whole reason for Christmas. It was Jesus. His sacrifice of leaving heaven to come here to earth so that we might have a relationship with the God that created it all. He came so that we can have life. He came so that we can experience a love greater and more amazing then we could possibly put into words. I get all worked up and then I see this video and it excites me about the students of today. It saddens me that a sick little boy has better insight then those of us that don’t have our days numbered by cancer.
The question that I have for us today is what can you do to make Christmas about others? I am not talking about your family and the gifts that you plan to buy, that is way to easy. What about the person working at the grocery store, who is struggling? What about the homeless guy that is sitting on the side of the road. What about them? Maybe this Christmas the present that you give to your kids is going to a homeless shelter? Maybe the gift that you give your mom and dad is the donation of food to a food bank? Maybe the gift you give your best friend is an invitation to go to Christmas Eve Services with you so that they can come to know Christ?
Luke 2:10,11 (NLT) . . but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior – yes the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!
Tell me what Christmas Gift you can give that shows people that need the true meaning of Christmas?