Two months ago, Chewy Tuesdays kicked off with deliveries to 61 children. This was the most ever reached by this ministry.
Yesterday, the ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat wrapped up its last delivery to 76 children.
What started out as a feast for the few who came to the church to eat has turned into meals for many delivered with love.
While the meals are simple, they always contain fruit. Why is fruit important? So many families no longer buy fruit due to high prices.
When a child pulls that big yellow banana out of his bag and says, “This is all for me?” it often brings tears to the eyes of those delivering these meals.
More than the meal is the love that delivers it. Children run towards the folks pulling up in their driveway looking for a hug before they look for their lunch.
The bags themselves have handwritten messages of love from congregation members as well as the children in Sunday school class. In addition to food, Gospels of John, wristbands that read GOD LOVES YOU – LOVE ONE ANTOHER, Jesus loves you pencils, and other treats filled the bags.
Somebody was always bringing in something extra. There is an excited unpatrolled in much of life that compares to contributing to the joy of a child.
This ministry had many volunteers but was led by two coconspirators. These two men would find the title of ministry leader too restrictive. Don Foust and Tom Collins provided leadership, creativity, and the logistics of bringing this ministry to life.
The preparation of these meals hardly resembled work though much work was accomplished. This was God’s love in action and it was pure fun. Pam Delp, Judy Reeder, Marie Black, Patsy Reeves, Sharman Spence, Anne Spence, Heather Spence, James Hendrix, Wantia Hendrix, June Foust, Carolyn Murray, and Delores Sullivan, Blake Bustin, and Sharla Haworth composed the preparation and delivery teams.
This was one of the many ministries of the local church to fight hunger. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to be hungry in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma hosted a Community Meal in May. Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter were distributed as take-aways from the meal. These are kid-friendly foods for when the children are left alone at home during the summer months.
On top of that, Chewy Tuesdays established itself as a coninuting ministry of lunches and love. The church announced all of these ministries in multiple media in advance of these events but has learned from experience that someone just never gets the word.
Not to worry—parents can still stop by the church to receive some Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter.
What about hungry adults or whole families?
For the past 10 years this local congregation has maintained a very active food pantry. The shelves have never gone empty. Just when it appears that the food will run out, people who do not even attend worship services at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church show up with food.
Some people in the community just go shopping for the pantry every month.
There is a standard price for the food. Pastor Tom tells everyone who comes for food that God loves them. Most people think that’s a fair price.
Somewhere in the conversation will be mention of the price paid for us—that God purchased, rescued, and redeemed his children from sin and death in the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Tom will also do his best to send not only a box of food but a Bible or at least a Gospel of John.
For all of the feeding that this small congregation does in this area, it is the Bread of Life that is what every ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church is built upon.
Every ministry comes with a message of life and hope.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located at 205 State Highway 44 in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.
Earlier this year the Cumberland Presbyterian Church voted to adopt the community Easter Egg Hunt. You may have also seen members of this body walking the streets of Burns Flat and Dill City in May and July in the continuing ministry called Walk A Block for Jesus.
What other ministries does this small church do? Just stop in some time and see what the phrase, God’s love in action really means.
Pastor Tom also reminds anyone who stops by and needs a Bible that he will give them one.