Today’s Scripture: “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (MSG).
After 20 years of being a nonprofit food agency in Liberty County, Manna House found itself in a serious budget crunch a few months ago. The board members and I were on the verge of cutting back on the services that we offer so we could keep going. We didn’t think we would be able to do our annual Thanksgiving basket giveaway last November or continue the soup kitchen for 2012.
Although things really looked bleak, the ministers on the board refused to give up, and they prayed for God to help us. I am happy to report that God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. Not only did the Lord provide the food through this community to do the Thanksgiving baskets, but He gave us our first soup-kitchen grant. Then one morning in March, Curves owner Peggy McRae came in waving paperwork for The Feinstein Foundation 2012 Hunger Relief Matching-Grant Campaign. The word got out that we were approved to participate, and this community kicked into overdrive and raised more than $11,300 and gave more than 11,500 food items. We have completed the grant application for almost $23,000 in matching funds for Manna House. Those funds are released in August by the Feinstein Foundation, and we intend to participate again next year.
The Manna House board and I want to thank everyone who participated in this campaign. You helped us stay alive. The citizens of Liberty County brought food and money from churches, Sunday school classes, youth groups, day cares, beauty salons, local business offices, civic groups and many other organizations. People would stop me in the street and in the restaurant to give donations for the campaign. It was a great blessing to have everyone working together to help the needy in this community.
Today’s Scripture says this is the way God wants believers to live. Also, there is a wonderful Scripture in Psalm 133 (NIV) that says, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity … for there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”
Deason is the senior pastor of Liberty Prayer Chapel, executive director of the Liberty County Manna House and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.