God has been reminding us of the greater things, the things that remain.
The first is faith. If we do things without faith, we cannot please Him – Hebrews 11:6, ”And without faith, it is impossible to please God.” In looking for a permanent distribution center, at times we have acted without faith. If we gather the team, strategize and come up with Plan A, Plan B and even Plan C, but don’t seek God in faith, it’s an exercise in futility. Does this mean that when we act in faith, we will always get the answer we seek? No, because God’s ways are higher than our ways – Job 37:5b, “He does great things beyond our understanding.” This is why we need faith because we won’t be able to come to His ways without it.
The second is hope. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says this, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning.” Whether it seems so or not, God has better things for us than what we expect, and we will be able to see this at the end of the journey. Also, God wants us to learn to actively wait. It’s been hard to wait because we feel uncomfortable not having a permanent place and we want to be in control, managing things our way. Though unsure of what’s going to happen next, God reminds us that our hope will not disappoint us if we let God direct our steps.
The last one is the hardest, love. Yes, we love, but putting love in our every thought and action is hard. The Apostle Paul reminded us of the indestructible things in 1 Corinthians 13 – faith, hope and love, but he pointed out that the greatest of them is love. Love can overcome everything, with or without a distribution center. During this time of waiting, instead of doing things out of love, we found ourselves acting outside of love, letting our frustration get the best of us. God has reminded us that we have to be rooted in His love because a branch cannot produce fruit apart from the vine.
The very name of our ministry is these three enduring words. It is good to be reminded of its deeper meaning.
A Hub of Creativity
During these challenging times, God has been teaching us to be creative, to keep our eyes and our hearts open to what He is doing. He is teaching us how to focus on the indestructible things, the things that matter. As Francis Chan has said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” In the process of doing ministry, we must take care that we not get caught up in a whirlwind of activity and lose our focus. What matters is our relationship with God and with others. Through the circumstances that we are going through, God is making us more creative while reminding us to keep our focus.
His “Trail Mix”
By being creative while following His lead, we are getting closer to Him and are getting more connected with others. We feel that God is shifting our perspective to see things as He sees them. We are seeing more of the forest and not just the trees as He moves the different pieces of the puzzle and gives us glimpses of His plan.
We have seen God move in so many ways! Through our relationship with IUPUI and the University of Indianapolis, God has provided us with two Interns. PLS Auto and Check Cashing recently partnered with us in a big way. Through a ministry friend, we were led to the provision of our temporary distribution center in a partnership with Edna Martin Leadership & Legacy Campus. One of our own trainees has been the answer to our transportation issue, and Bar-B-Q Heaven will be our new transportation partner starting in November 2017. And, in addition to all of these things, God has also provided us, through ministry friends, with a donated trailer and a 16-foot box truck.
There is more exciting news. Just recently, the Grand Opening of the newest Missional Food Pantry was held at the Indy Vineyard Church! It is at such pantries that we see lives changed for eternity. Since March, there have been nearly 200 salvations through the combined effort of the Missional Food Pantries!
As we look back, we see that God has been leading us, like putting trail mix on the path for us to follow, leading us into expansion of our working relationships with other organizations which results in stronger community – our message since the beginning of the ministry. These blessings confirm that we are on the right path.
Please continue to pray for an extra portion of faith to move mountains, a hope that never wavers and more love that can change lives. We are still looking for a 10k+ sq. ft. distribution center that has a dock and a ramp, preferably in the 46208, 46205 or 46218 zip codes. Thank you for your prayers.