Date: Wednesday, Dec. 4
Mission Partner: The Cupboard – Ankeny Food Pantry, written by Gloria Batts, volunteer
Scripture: Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Hope Ankeny operates a food pantry we call The Cupboard. In our early days of operation, a fairly small group was purchasing non-perishable items at retail prices that we loaded into recyclable shopping bags, but at $18 per bag, we couldn’t keep up with the demand.
Sadly, our campus staff had to turn people away empty handed, and that was not only very painful for them, but also for all of us who had a passion to help those in need. We needed more MONEY—plain and simple—and lots of it.
How many times have you thought about what you could do with more money? I certainly have indulged in that mental exercise. Every time I heard of a lottery winner in Iowa, I thought, ‘if that had been me, I could have made a big difference with that money.’ So, I bought lottery tickets and I prayed. My heart was in the right place, so why haven’t I been a winner?
I believe the answer is that God wants me to be continually dependent upon him. Had I won $20 million, would I have been on my knees as often or as urgently? He wants me to exercise my spiritual muscles and grow in faith through daily prayer and daily rejoicing in answered prayers. He wants me to seek him, trust him, love him, and share his love with others by reaching out to the world around me to share the everlasting love of Jesus!
Since those early years of operation, God has led the mission team down a new path that has required prayer, patience, faithfulness, generosity, compassion, working together in one Spirit and selfless giving of time.
Today, over 50 Hope Ankeny members are involved in the operation of The Cupboard and many others are contributing financial resources. We are spending less, and serving many more. We serve 452 families per month and God provides abundantly more food (including meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, fresh garden produce, bread, sweets, and even Thanksgiving turkeys).
Thank you, Jesus!
Only God can turn financial trouble into a reason for rejoicing. The Cupboard is truly a story of spending less and giving more.