Praise God! What a beautiful day we had to give out our Thanksgiving foods! It was a glorious day filled with many hands and joyful hearts reflecting the glory of Jesus to 113 families and to each other! The camaraderie and teamwork were amazing and I cannot thank you all enough! A special thank you to the vestry of Emmanuel for flexing and accommodating the needs that have presented. I spoke to many of our new volunteers on Saturday and to others in the evangelical community and they are amazed at what is being done at this little church who heard God’s call and said, “send us!”
And as you can see, we moved the pantry into its new “big digs” just in time to allow many hands to make bags and stage our extra fixings for those who will still come in before Thanksgiving. The move was also just in time to allow us space to pray indoors yesterday in the sub-freezing temperatures rather than outside! God blessed us with good to great weather each and every Tuesday since we opened. He protected us each Tuesday for over six months as we worked out our client growth and made room for our prayer to take place indoors. Once he saw us inside, he let the cold weather come! Kind of reminds me of how he held back the water in the Red Sea until all of the Israelites had crossed over into the Promised Land! He is faithful!
A couple of uplifting stories that come to mind this month were the couple who walked 8 miles from South Bound Brook to pick up their Thanksgiving meal and the beautiful soul who accepted the Lord two weeks ago!
Now let me share with you a story about why some of our working families are having such financial struggles. We had a mother of three come in this month who works full time at Walmart as a “department manager” for $24,000 a year! Her family of 4 lives at the threshold of the poverty level which is blind to the cost of housing in NJ. She pays $750 a month for rent (almost 50% of her take home) and yet the taxpayers pay another $1,000 in rental assistance each month for her two and a half bedroom apartment. What nags at me is why the taxpayers have to provide a 50% subsidy or $12,000 a year plus the cost of her children’s Medicaid because she can’t earn a livable wage as a full-time employee of one of the largest companies in the country. Do you know that the descendants of Walmart founder Sam Walton own 50% of the outstanding stock of Walmart? So fifty percent of the stock appreciation and dividends that result from Walmart profits flow to this family while you and I subsidize their expenses. Someday they will hear, ”Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.” James 5:4
Once again, I thank the Lord for each of you and I am extremely happy for the joy I sense in your service.