They Did What They Could                                                                                                         Andy Hollifield 11-20-16

Five loaves and two small fishes. Not nearly enough to do what needed doing. No way to feed all those people with no more than what they had. Thousands of hungry people and no way to feed them. Just a little boys lunch. There is not even any use to try because it will never be enough. All those statements are what we would expect to hear. An accurate assessment of a situation by sensible people. A little boy willing to give his lunch. Doubting disciples willing to be obedient. Thousands of people willing to wait and see what Jesus would do. The end result; a multitude stuffed to the gills, baskets full of leftovers, preachers amazed at Christ power, and probably a momma that heard a story from her son that she just could not believe! Except for one thing; if it wasn’t true, where did all those baskets of bread and fish come from?

I just used that to make a point. If you only have a little to give, if you will give it God will use it to bless far more than you ever could by yourself. Such was the case on Saturday with our H.O.P.E. Ministries shoebox gift assembly. A multitude of people with different abilities working together to bless hundreds of people. Some weren’t able to do a lot of walking so they stood in one spot and wrapped boxes. Some cut the paper to size. Others just stood and taped boxes closed. Others wrote out tags for the boxes. Some just handed out empty boxes to people to fill them. Some inspected the boxes to make sure they had enough items and not too many. Some were runners, taking the wrapped boxes and putting them in the appropriate place. Some walked down by the table filling the boxes. When it was all done 65 minutes after we started, 241 boxes were assembled to go with the ones that were collected from churches and 146 families totaling 467 people will have a gift on Christmas morning! That means that 467 people will know that God loves them. All because a bunch of people “did what they could do”.

Just as the multitude was fed because a young lad gave what he had, these people will be blessed because each one there Saturday “did what they could”. Before that, throughout the year, a lot of little kids gave their change at vacation bible school or during the penny march on Sunday mornings. A lot of adults made sure they had change in their pockets or purse to give to the kids. A few churches budgeted out or voted special offerings for our mission projects. Doesn’t sound like anything great does it? Just normal goings on for a church, no big deal. If you ask the parents of the kids that receive the boxes, or the young ladies whose lives have been turned upside down by an unplanned pregnancy, or the woman who fled an abusive husband with her kids with only the clothes on their backs, or the parent that lost their job and wasn’t going to be able to buy gifts, I bet they would disagree! I bet they would think it is all a real big deal! If it was you and your kids; it would be a big deal! So to all those that came yesterday, or gave change or support or put our ministry in your budget, I want to say a heart-felt “thank you” and give you a big hug! Thanks for doing like the woman in Mark 14 and just “doing what you could”. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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