Witness by Susan Lindquist
Sometimes your greatest mission can seem so darned ordinary…
One of the most satisfying actions that I take every day is to make a meal for my family. I’ve taken great joy over the years when the kids smacked their lips over certain meals or begged me to make one of their favorite casseroles or called from college to ask for a certain recipe. We’ve never gone to bed hungry, and I’ve been thankful for what God and Hiel have provided for our family.
Over the past few years, I’ve been moved to use my talent for cooking and serving to help others get a hot meal. Feeding the hungry and those in need of some help spreading their food budget has become a way for me to live my faith. I have such plenty – in resources, in food knowledge, and in friends who support my efforts. I worked with a group of folks at the church I used to attend in Fitzwilliam bringing meals to the Hundred Nights drop-in center in Keene and organizing church suppers for our congregation. When Hiel and I started coming to this church, I wondered if the missions team would be interested in becoming a group of servers too, but I held off asking. The committee was so busy with other important work that I thought it might be too much to ask. Then, Peak into Peterborough gave me the opportunity to converse with folks in the surrounding community about hunger initiatives. It was obvious that others want to help, but many don’t know just where to start. Linda Wallenstein was so supportive of my idea to talk up community support for providing meals at the Hundred Nights center and before I knew it, there were eleven folks willing to sign their names and provide contact info. That was a pretty powerful sign to me that I should get to it in organizing some dinners. Then, another thing dropped into my lap. I got a call from Mindy Cambiar, the director of the homeless shelter and drop-in center in Keene. She asked me if I’d be willing to join a group of other like-minded people in working to bring more services to the guests at the shelter and dining guests at the Tailgate dinners. I got off the phone and thought. “God seems to have given me a golden opportunity!” Since then, the UCC church at the head of Central Square has offered to open their fellowship hall for the dinner. No more crunching the guests together at the dropping center! More room for spreading out buffet lines, more seating and elbow room for the guests! This is a real Godsend!
There’s plenty of room on the volunteer list to help out. I’m in need of extra hands to help serve the ‘comfort food’ meal that I’ve got planned, cooks to make a salad or macaroni and cheese casserole, shoppers to provide the paper goods for serving, or cheerleaders to encourage me on my way. My mantra is “No one should ever go to bed hungry in this world of plenty.” If I can drum up folks to provide one meal that helps friends in need, then that’s a start. If I can help community volunteers get their feet wet in serving the homeless and those in need, then that’s even better. And if even one of those volunteers steps out on their own from the serving/cooking team that I’m trying to build to begin their own community service network, then that is a wonderful thing! I pray that God will guide me along as I try to build a strong network of folks who want to nourish those in need… and I’d appreciate your prayers too! Making a meal is such an ordinary thing to do, but sometimes it becomes something much bigger.