Every other Thursday during the summer months, Tellico Plains, Tenn., Church members arrive in their florescent green shirts. Like busy bees, they pack bags and set up a canopy and chairs. Outside cars begin to line up. What’s all the activity? It is kid’s food giveaway day.
The Tellico Plains Church partners with Second Harvest Food Bank to make sure the children of Monroe County have something to eat. This is a free program available to every child ages birth-18. Each child receives a bag of kid-friendly food they can prepare for themselves, if need be. Usually, 75-150 children are served each giveaway day. Each car also receives a piece of literature. It may be a child’s book, a book for the caregivers, or a Bible study enrollment card.
Church members also have prayer request cards ready when people ask for prayer. The prayer requests vary each week. Many people ask for prayer to help them raise their grandchildren or even great-grandchildren. Other prayer requests are for medical needs or financial needs.
One request that really stands out happened near the end of the summer. A woman pulled in, and as she was being registered, she asked, “Does your church pray for people?”
The reply came: “Absolutely. What can we pray for?”
“Ever since my husband and I decided to go back to church, the devil has been attacking us,” replied the woman. “I am getting ready to have a hysterectomy. There is a 50/50 chance that I have cancer. On top of that, yesterday, I was cooking and accidentally spilled boiling water on my belly. My belly is covered in blisters. And my grandma is in the hospital. And my basement is flooded from all the rain we’ve had in the last 24 hours.”
Right there, on the spot, right in the pick-up line, the church member asked if she could pray. Together these two women who a few minutes before had been strangers, bowed their heads and prayed together that God would rebuke the devil and be with this precious woman with all that she was facing. As the amen was said, both of these new friends had tears in their eyes.
“This is what it is all about,” said Annette Michaels, outreach coordinator for the Tellico Plains Church. “Meeting people’s physical needs gives us an opportunity to reach their spiritual needs, too.”
Georgia-Cumberland | November 2023