Food Drive

The Least of These

The Least of These.jpg

For the past 3 weeks at BSM North, we've been in our "Do Something" series, where we've been examining and discussing the realities of our faith and the calling we have as Christians to turn our love for Jesus into action towards others. Last night we wrapped up the series by looking at Matthew 25:31-46 – where we see Jesus on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.

The story that Jesus brings up is one that most of us are familiar with: Jesus, at the end of time, has every nation, tribe, and tongue standing before him. He has sorted some of them to his left, and some of them to his right.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

The scene quickly shifts to those on his right who answer him, saying "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?"

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Now, for those who are unfamiliar, a few weeks ago we posted a blog about one of our North Campus high school students Britni, who approached me with the desire to start a food drive for her birthday. Along with the blog post, I quickly spread the word throughout our student ministry and social media to join in and help stock the shelves of our Beltway Park Food Pantry.

Then, without anyone's prompting, Pastor McQueen announced the following Sunday morning that both of our campuses would be taking donations up for our Beltway Food Pantry in honor of Britni's birthday food drive. 

The response was simply astounding.

Over 70 food & personal items Donated
Over $13,000 Raised

I remember sitting in my office when I first read those numbers in an email, and I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed.

You see, this is about something greater than cans of food or dollar signs. This is about people. This is about a community coming together to do what Jesus has called us to do – love our neighbor and to take care of the "least of these."

The thing I've realized in my own life, is that I tend to over-spiritualize "loving thy neighbor." But the remarkable thing about Matthew 25:31-46 is the fact that Jesus is talking about actions that aren't inherently spiritual at all. Jesus isn't calling out to those who prayed for the hungry. Those on the right aren't described as people who led some massive spiritual crusade or revival.

It's actually much more simple than that. Jesus is talking about people who:

Fed the hungry.
Gave a drink to the thirsty.
Clothed the naked.
Cared for the sick, the stranger, and the needy.

You know what I love about that? Though seemingly unspiritual they may be, when we do those basic things for the "least of these," we are actually doing them directly unto Jesus.

And so we can all "ooh" and "ahh" about $13,000. But that's not what this is about. This is about people. Because do you know what 70 food and personal items + over $13,000 actually does?

Feeds the hungry.
Gives a drink to the thirsty.
Clothes the naked.
Cares for the sick, the stranger, and the needy.

So, to the countless strangers who dug into their pockets or into their pantry, and to those who daily give of yourself in order to take care of the "least of these" – Thank You.

You are world changers.

Instagram | Twitter

Food for Hope

Last year while on a mission trip in Atlanta, Georgia, God really stirred my heart when we visited government homes to deliver food that we had sorted through the previous day at the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. While we were there, we watched a documentary about the poverty situation in Atlanta, and one lady said, "I have no hope." She believed she was never going to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty, and that broke my heart! It broke my heart because the human spirit cannot survive with out hope! We can live without food and water for several days, and even without air for a few minutes, but without hope we lose the will to live.

After seeing the conditions they live in, and witnessing children having to endure something like this, it stirred my heart to take a step to reverse the situation of poverty and give a little bit of hope back to them.

Even if it is just one can of food – if one can of food can plant that thought of..."Maybe I can get through this because there is one meal already provided for me," then I get to watch God nourish that seed and do the impossible! If God thinks highly enough of me to want me to be a part of that, then I want to say "YES!" and walk in the light of Jesus for my neighbors in MY home town.

Britni Starr

A note from Braden:

One of our greatest responsibilities as followers of Christ is to love people. The hard question is "how?" The amazing thing about "loving people" is that it can come in all shapes and sizes. Love can look like a conversation at a coffee shop. Love can look like fixing a flat tire. Love can look like welcoming someone into your home.

Love can look like feeding the hungry.

The amazing thing about Britni's story is the fact that she approached me about wanting to do a food drive for her birthday. Her love for Jesus and people run so deep that even on a special occasion of turning another year older, her greatest desire is not for gifts, nor money, nor a new gadget, but to bring hope to the hopeless.

And so on February 22 and March 1, we will be having a Food Drive at our Wednesday night SUMMIT services at Beltway North. I encourage you join in on what God has placed in Britni's heart, and help stock the shelves of our Beltway Park Food Pantry and bring hope to those in need.

What to Bring

Body soap
Toilet paper
Laundry soap
Feminine supplies
   (Especially Large Print and/or Spanish)
Dishwashing liquid
Tooth brushes

Canned chicken
Vienna sausages
Canned fruit
Canned ravioli/spaghetti-o’s
Ramen noodle soup
Canned soups
Macaroni & cheese
Hamburger helper
Ranch beans/Baked beans

Salt & pepper & spices
Cooking oil
Bisquick/Pancake mix
Cornbread mix/Cake mix
Peanut butter