It started the Friday before Easter. Some of the members of Lehigh Acres Church were reflecting on how, because of Covid, many people would be stuck at home, could not go to church, or spend time with their family. Then came the idea: they could take Easter to people who were probably bored and lonely. The plan was to get some candy and some books, maybe write a nice note, and drop it off at people’s houses.
It was suggested that instead of junk food, which is expensive and unhealthy, it might be better to deliver real food. The next day, members arrived at a low-income neighborhood with a pickup full of produce: beans and rice, tomatoes, onions, corn, and potatoes. They planned to go door to door giving out food.
What happened instead was truly amazing! A grandma came over and eyed the pickup truck. She was encouraged to take some food, and she ran inside to grab a bag. By the time the kids finished preparing food, a line of about 50 people had formed. Volunteers began to fill boxes with food as fast as they possibly could, but when they looked up, it seemed like the line hadn’t even moved. People would come and get food, be wished a Happy Easter, and be prayed for with Lehigh Acres members. It was evening before everyone was served.
The next Saturday the same members, joined by others, decided to do it again. The experience was much the same. Soon, it became a weekly activity. “God miraculously opened a series of doors like the idea, transitioning to locally available economic food, and a peer group eager to serve. All we did corporately was walk through the doors God opened,” commented one of the participants.
That was Easter; since then the Lehigh Acres ministry of giving out food has expanded. Different groups rotate on a Sabbath-by-Sabbath basis, and a previous Bread Ministries has been expanded to send food to this project. The mission of Lehigh Acres is Open Hearts, Open Arms, Open Hands. “We would love to see what God could accomplish everywhere,” wished a member, “if there were more people who were willing to give five loaves and three fish.”
Florida | December 2020