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.
As I have been involved in churches I have seen people come and people go. There is the mindset that we can walk in and out of churches like we do stores. In fact I laugh when I hear people say, “They are church shopping.” Now I do believe that it is important to find a church that is what you feel God wants for you and your family. But then you are to be there and to be a part of the community. I think that comes by making friends with people that you go to church with on Sunday. Statistics actually have come to say that if you don’t make six friends within in the first six months then you won’t stick around. So we need to look at the way we deal with community. It’s about becoming friends.
I am not the type of person that is going to join a group of people and tell everyone my deepest feelings. I just don’t work that way. I will hang out with people and become friends with people and do life with them. Then once I know that I can be real with those friends then I will start to share what is going on in my life. I pray that people become friends and see the value as well as the need to be with other people, to make friends. I also pray that we just don’t walk out on each other or treat each other with disrespect. I pray that through time, teaching, and growing through scripture we are able to see that when a person leaves that it is just as important as a person joining. We need each other.
Romans 12:5 (NLT) so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.
Everyone is inValuable & irreplaceable in community
What can you do to make people feel invaluable and irreplaceable in your community?