The Lord is writing a beautiful story encompassing his plan for the world and his individual plans for each one of us. Sometimes, I get a little glimpse of one part of His story, and this one was just so good that I have to share it with you.
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know that during high school I was involved in a program called Bible Quizzing and that now I am helping to lead my church's branch of the ministry. I absolutely love this program and grew closer to God in so many ways through the Scripture I learned, the teaching I heard, and the friendships I developed.
Last spring, as I was graduating high school, God put it on my heart to coordinate some sort of service project for our quizzing district. It was at a point in my life when I realized that a true relationship with God makes real impact in the lives of those around the believer. Bible Quizzing focuses on raising disciples for Christ, so it seemed like the perfect fit for those disciples to find a way to serve.
Right around this time, our church did a meal packing through Children of the Nations. We raised money for and packaged 40,000 meals to send to third world countries. The packing itself was a lot of fun and it was a tangible way to serve people around the world. God placed a desire in my heart for our quizzing district to raise money and pack meals for the needy in the next year.
Getting it all set up wasn't easy. I consider myself to be selectively detail-oriented, meaning that I can do detailed school projects and assignments well, but I am not great at communicating with multiple people and tying up loose ends to make an event happen. It was a growing and stretching process for me to have to think through and work out all the details.
God made it all come together, and throughout the school year we collected coins to raise money for the meal packing. We tentatively set a goal of $1,000, but were waiting on God to see what he would do. We ended up raising more than our goal: $1,125 which enabled us to send 4,500 meals to those in need. It is so encouraging to see God's people coming together for a common goal, and this was even more evident on the day we actually did the packing.
We all met at the church, and everyone had their own job to do, whether it was filling the bags, weighing them, packing them, or sealing up the boxes. Laughter and chatter filled the room as we set about the task.
While we were packing the meals, I got to talk with the director of the branch of Children of the Nations in our area. He told me that our group was the last meal packing taking place in our state, and possibly in the whole country. The ministry is shifting their focus, working on enabling their partners in country to grow crops, raise animals, and fish for food. They are excited about this change and look forward to see what God will do with the ministry.
I was struck most by one thing he said: "When we spoke about this meal packing, I had no idea it would be the last one."
But God knew. He knew how much both ministries meant to me, and He gave me the passion and desire to make it happen just in time. None of us could have known that the opportunity to serve in this way would not come around again, but God planned everything perfectly so that it could take place. He is good, and I am continually amazed at how carefully he works out everything.
We truly serve an amazing God.
I thank you for your plan that is worked out among us every single day. I thank you for caring about the ministries of Bible Quizzing and Children of the Nations and making it possible for this partnerships to take place. Thank you for working through me to bring our district together in this common goal and for imparting a heart of service to all the kids involved. I pray that the meals we packed would be a true blessing to those who receive them and that they would know how much You love them. You love them so much that you gave an American teenager a crazy idea to organize a service project just in time so that they could get a meal to eat. May your love become real to all involved in this process, from those who raised the funds, to those who packed the meals, to the organization and finally to those who will receive them.
You are amazing, God! We praise you!
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen."
- Ephesians 3:20-21