Thanksgiving is a decidedly Christian Holiday – and one that has lost much of its meaning as our fallen human culture has shaped the day to focus mainly on self-satisfaction and indulgence, and as the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season.
Isn’t it cool that we as a Church family had the opportunity to experience something deeper and more authentic this year? Thanks to Jake and Susan Asberry, we were invited to be part of the planning team for the enormous H.A.R.K. Foundation Thanksgiving meal outreach. 5000 meals (sounds Biblical, doesn’t it?!) were prepared and distributed in Overton and Pickett Counties of Tennessee and in Clinton County, Kentucky. Melissa Talent and the good folks at Fitzgerald Industries planned and underwrote this amazing effort. They deserve our thanks!
As you know, the Lord opened the door for our Church Family to coordinate the Wilson School location in Overton County—in fact, the Lord used us to establish a Wilson School location in the first place. I really think Father is pushing us to establish connections and relationships with our neighbors in eastern Overton County for Divine purposes!
A LARGE group of us met yesterday (Thanksgiving Day) morning at Wilson. An undertaking as enormous as this is bound to have some glitches. It soon became apparent that we had 400 meals to deliver—without any addresses to guide us!
Of course, it wasn’t a glitch at all. Nine or ten teams quickly formed to cover all the communities up on the mountain. Prayer opportunities were abundant. Doors were open and greetings warm and sincere. Miracles of various sorts occurred, including the Lord healing a woman with a crippled hand. Hundreds of lives were touched through the deliveries.
In addition, a hundred or so folks came to the school to eat or to pick up plates of food. The building was left clean and in order by the team, and the leftovers will feed around 100 folks through Meals on Wheels next week, as we partner with Mineral Springs Baptist Church.
IN ADDITION, our church family provided well over 100 desserts, and we had folks who served long hours at the Livingston Academy location. We donated thousands of Styrofoam plates and hundreds of drinks. And we had a team including Bruce Elder, John West, Jason Thomas, and Derek Houser that worked until 2 am Thursday morning smoking 1122 pounds of turkey!
That the Lord set this up for us to be in on the planning (Thank you Jake!) and located right in the middle of an area where His Spirit is stirring is just amazing. That this all came together in less than three weeks is unbelievable.
On a personal level, I feel like I experienced a bit deeper the meaning of Thanksgiving this year. I pray you did as well. As Don Ragland pointed out last Sunday, it is easier to offer genuine Thanksgiving to God when things are difficult… chaotic… out of our control. (In fact, “our control” and “Thanksgiving” don’t belong together in the same sentence…!) Genuine Thanksgiving is being offered, dear Family!
THANK YOU, LORD JESUS!!!