Family Happenings

Hands, Feet, & Servants of Christ

We started searching for a church earlier this year and soon found the church that we now call home.  Justin was saved our second Sunday there and a few weeks later, he was baptized (the same week we found our we were expecting Brynlee) and our family joined the church.  Since then, we’ve loved learning about Christ, deepening that relationship, and getting involved with our church.  We began attending Sunday school, taught the preschool class at VBS this summer, fellowshipped at picnics, but my favorite has been volunteering at our local soup kitchen.

The Bread of Life Soup Kitchen - Oak Grove Baptist Church

Our first Saturday to volunteer at The Bread of Life (great name, huh?), I was only a few months pregnant and in the worst of my morning sickness.  Justin cooked a huge pot of green beans and well, let’s just say that while the green beans made their way to the soup kitchen- my lunch did not.  I found myself well acquainted with a convenient store toilet.  Thankfully, after that, I felt much better and we were able to serve at the soup kitchen with no more sickness.

Soup Kitchen

When the first few families poured through the door with their little ones in tow, kids around the age of my own children, the tears were unstoppable.  I didn’t expect that.  I’m not sure what I did expect from the experience, but I walked away that day humbled.  Justin and I stopped at the local Cracker Barrel (a little ironic maybe) on the way home that afternoon to talk through our feelings.  It was an eyeopening experience.  Call me naive, but I had no idea there were people living in tents and going without food in our local community.

Hands and Feet of Christ

Once my eyes had been opened, there was no closing them.  After seeing those tiny, hungry faces, I understood for the first time a little about what it meant to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  For me, serving these people, looking into their eyes, seeing their need and being a part of meeting that need was unlike anything I had ever done before.  It felt different.  While heartbreaking, it felt good to help.  Not that there is anything wrong with donating money or clothing, but donating my time and using my hands and feet to serve others while serving Christ was an amazing experience.  I love programs like Operation Christmas Child and Compassion International and I’ll continue supporting those causes, but meeting needs in my own backyard is where I feel like I need to be right now.

Soup Kitchen

Saturday’s menu consisted of fresh from the garden vegetables, smoked chicken, macaroni & cheese, green beans, corn, peas, bread, and a variety of desserts.  I suited up in my gloves, pulled my hair back, and made my way to the “frontline”- something I wouldn’t normally do.  I prefer to hide back in the shadows rather than chance being uncomfortable.  But Saturday, something was different.  I wanted to be up front, so I took my spot dipping macaroni & cheese and corn on plates for the hungry.  After the rush slowed, I stood back and admired His work.  A room full of families, eating what could possibly be their only hot meal that day, and there was a sense of calm.  As their hunger was eased through a hot meal, my hunger to serve our local community grew.  I don’t want to be superficially satisfied by throwing money in an envelope when there is a need here at home.  I want to do both.

Soup Kitchen 1

To be honest, I had no idea where this was going when I began typing.  I’m still not entirely sure.  I think I just want to encourage you to look around your hometown, open your eyes and search for ways to help out in your local community, get out there and be His hands and His feet.  Serve others.  Serve those in your home, serve your family and your friends, and take the time to help meet the needs of strangers.  Don’t wait for the opportunity to find you- keep looking until you find it.

Soup Kitchen Veggies

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

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9 Comments

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  • This is GREAT! The pics turned out AWESOME! Getting to serve always does more for me than donating money. Although helping out financially is a huge part of ministry, I just get so much more out of serving. Love Mark 10:45…and love the post!

  • That is awesome!! I have been very involved in PTA at my children’s school the last two years (I had to step back this year because of my baby). But it has really been an eye opener seeing all these precious children who I know and love and to really get to know what happens when they go home. To know that most of them don’t get dinner and some of them don’t have anyone who cares enough to help them with homework. It’s heartbreaking. There are two children that go to school with my children who I wish I could adopt.

    • Sheena, I am hoping to start being involved in the PTO this year at our kids’ school. Apparently, they need new officers and there is currently a huge lack of participation on all sides (practically none). Also, the communication between educators and parents could use a lot of improvement. There are a lot of teachers who care deeply and some parents that are looking for a change, so I am hoping it is the beginning of a new era for our children’s education. I would appreciate any resources or advice. Thanks! Here’s my email mrsannahorn@gmail.com

  • We love to serve our local community. The local need is amazing and still catches my heart when we are able to volunteer within the community.
    I loved reading about your service and those in your community. I hope and pray that you can “figure out where this going.”

  • It is a great thing to serve in the local community. I used to work a the Coalition in my area and I was always amazed at the number of homeless people who depended on us for food. Something I will never forget.

  • Whitney, not only are you making a difference, but I know it is wonderful to have your husband by your side for this. I guess I’ve always wondered about the homeless around here, but have sadly never been brave enough to find out the truth. It is terribly heartbreaking. I can’t even bare the evidence when we go to Huntsville or Chattanooga, but in the small towns you know that they are probably related or known by someone you know or are related to. It makes me wonder where the break down in their support system was and if there surely isn’t someone out there worried to death about this individual or family. We are very blessed to have support from our immediate and extended family in our tough situations. A fact that I know neither one of us takes for granted. <3

  • That’s wonderful that you were able to help in your local community. I try to work at local shelters whenever I can as a way to give back.

 







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