The holidays are right around the corner and that meals that things are getting busy, busy, busy at Highways and Hedges. In the coming weeks, we will take some Fall Festival fun to children in Newton, take time at Thanksgiving for feeding the homeless and hungry in Conover, and host our annual Christmas party complete with gifts for anyone with a need in our county!
Currently, we still need both food donations and volunteers for our Thanksgiving meal. Each year we provide a FREE THANKSGIVING MEAL to anyone who comes, sharing the love of Christ to all. Last year 825 plates were served (eat in or take out), and we are expecting greater need this year.
While this is no small undertaking, but God always provides through those with a servant's heart.
The Thanksgiving Outreach Meal will be provided on Saturday, November 19th from 11 am-7pm at 3675 Herman Sipe Road, Conover, NC.
We ask for your prayerful consideration of providing needed items or working a 2 hour shift or more during this meal.
REMAINING NEEDS LIST:
To sign up as a volunteer or to schedule a time to drop off your food donation, please contact our fabulous super hero Thanksgiving meal coordinator, Betty Easter at (828) 234-9399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for being a part of what God is doing in our community. We pray that the LORD would bless you for your generosity and compassion.
Bread is something most of us eat on a regular basis. In Catawba County, even a minor threat for winter weather sends everyone rushing to the store for bread. Did you know that bread is also an important image used in the Bible, over and over again? With just a quick search in my concordance, I found it listed 91 times!
Jesus talked about bread many times, even including it in the sacred act of communion as a way to remember His redemptive work on the cross. In John 6, Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Highways and Hedges was recently blessed to partner with Panera to take leftover bread and share it with the needy in our area. Several times each week, Panera gives us the leftover baked goods to pass along to those who would otherwise be hungry.
Sometimes people question why we give out groceries after our Monday night worship services. We’ve heard some well-meaning concerns: Aren’t they already on food stamps? What if they are “double dipping” by going from one church to the next seeking free food?
The Bible gives us some clear directives on this. In Ecclesiastes 11:1, it says, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” If you were to take a loaf of bread and tear it in pieces and throw it out on the water, what would happen? It would fall apart, be completely wasted, and utterly useless. So why would King Solomon tell people to cast their bread on the waters?
Sometimes giving to the poor feels a lot like casting bread on the water. You make a lot of effort, invest a lot of money, and it can seem like a waste. Does a free meal or a bag of groceries really accomplish anything in the big picture?
The answer is yes. Bread is a fundamental part of life and it gives us an open door to talk about the true Bread that always satisfies! Deuteronomy 8:3 says, “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” When we share physical bread with people in need, we also have an opportunity to share the the Word of God, the eternally significant message of Jesus Christ!
Tonight, we have another trunk load of bread that we will deliver to one of the most stigmatized groups in our society. We will spend time with people who would never dare darken the doors of the church. We aren’t asking them to come to us. We are taking the bread to them! And with it, we are also taking them Bibles, a friendly shoulder to cry on, and the knowledge that Jesus cares deeply about their lives.
In a world where we have so many conflicting beliefs on politics, faith, lifestyle, and even parenting, it’s hard to find anything that we all have in common. But there is this one simple thing – bread. We all need to eat.
We want to issue a challenge to you today. This week, would you go pick up a loaf of bread from the grocery store and share it with someone else?
Maybe it’s a neighbor, a coworker, a friend who is struggling, or a homeless man with a cardboard sign. Take this simple loaf of bread and turn it into an opportunity to be a true friend, to tell someone that they are important to Jesus and He has a plan for their life. You might just be surprised at what could happen…
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, praise the Lord! We are in the home stretch to move into our new location on Herman Sipe Rd permanently. We still have quite a bit to finish this weekend before we meet together there for our worship time on Sunday. Can you spare a few hours this weekend to help?
We will have a work day on Saturday, July 16 beginning at 8:30 am and lasting until everything is done. Sunday, July 17, work will begin at 2:00 pm at Highways & Hedges' new building. Sat. will be pretty much all day for anyone who can come. There will be several odd jobs to do, plus I need some help to unload 23 sheets of plywood and then to go to Vale and pick up some furniture. There will be some guys at the Woodlawn warehouse building shelves and they can use some help. There are some items that need to be sorted through such as tools, etc. Some may need to be disposed of but we need help to get it done
Sunday afternoon we will finish the cleanup, sweep and mop floors and set up tables and chairs. We will have to have some help to move some chairs from Woodlawn and East First Street to Highways & Hedges. That will take some doing, because the chairs at EFS are behind furniture, refrigerators, etc. Moving chairs will be a Saturday job.
Chairs will need to be vacuumed and/or washed to get the dust off them. We have some roll-up shades for the children's room which need to be installed. There are two Fire Extinguishers to be installed. We have to cut, paint and install plywood for baseboard. Also we have to install 2 sets of double doors - Kitchen and children's room.
We hope to see many there even if you can only help for a short time and can't do a lot of heavy lifting. Many thanks to all who have helped get things as far as they are!
We are collecting school supplies to fill backpacks for needy children in our area. Supplies should be donated by the end of July so that we can deliver backpacks in August. Here is an updated list of supplies and quantities that we still need.
Pocket Folders - 1270
Erasers - 850 packs
Highlighters – 378 packs
Protractors - 200
Glue Sticks - 967
Pencils (#2 wooden) - 1327
Kleenex - Need 400 / 3 packs
Hand Sanitizer - 396
Scissors – 160 blunt, 160 sharp
Pens - 321
Colored Pencils – 398 packs
Rulers – 223
Notebook Paper (150 wide rule) - 1586 packs
Markers (Crayola Washable) - 400 packs
Composition Books (Black & White Marbled) - 800
Binder Pouches – 307
Pencil Boxes – 22
"Happy is the man who cares for the poor. The Lord will keep him alive and safe." - Psalm 41:1
"He who shows kindness to a poor man gives to the Lord and He will pay him in return for his good act." -Proverbs 19:17
"When you have a supper, ask the poor people. Ask those who cannot walk and those who are blind. You will be happy if you do this. They cannot pay you back. You will get your reward when the people who are right with God are raised form the dead." - Luke 14:13-14
"He who hates his neighbor sins, but happy is he who shows loving favor to the poor." - Proverbs 14:21
"He who gives much will be honored, for he gives some of his food to the poor." - Proverbs 22:9
"He who gives to the poor will never want, but many bad things will happen to the man who shuts his eyes to the poor." - Proverbs 28:27
"And if you give what you have to the hungry, and fill the needs of those who suffer, then your light will rise in darkness, and your darkness will be like the brightest time of day." - Isaiah 58:10
“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 creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ - Matthew 25:34-40
"And the Master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled…" - Luke 14:15-23, emphasis vs 23
"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them." - Proverbs 3:27
We have 360 names to sponsor for Christmas this year, about 100 more than last year. We need your help.
Would you consider sponsoring some of these needy people so they and their children/grandchildren can have a happy Christmas? Without our help, these people will be unable to buy gifts for their families. Many of them can barely pay their basic living expenses.
If you are willing to help, please call or text 828-781-8095 the number you would be willing to sponsor. You may also reply to me with this information by email.
I assure you, your Christmas will be brighter if you will help these needy people have a Christmas!
We had a lady call today wanting us to sponsor her 4 year child and we turned her down because we don't have enough sponsors for the ones we already have. She cannot even pay her rent, water or power because she lost her parttime job due to an arm injury and cannot do the necessary work. If she cannot get help soon, she will be homeless with this child.
I could go on and on with these type stories, but I hope you can see the need and respond.
Phil Williams, Director
Highways & Hedges
Ministry to the Homeless & Needy
Praise our Lord! We enrolled 130 pre-k through 12th grade children and 52 adults Thursday night! They had a great time learning about Noah. They also enjoyed decorating crosses. Pizza, cookies, watermelon and kool aid were a big hit as were the games and t-shirts. Friday night they decorated their own t-shirts. We registered a total of 232 children and adults through Thursday and Friday nights. Because of the heavy downpour of rain and the crazy winds on Saturday night, we couldn't register anyone since our papers all blew away! Even the bad weather didn't stop people from coming. At one point, there was a young mother with a little baby running to the picnic area from the parking lot in that crazy downpour.
We gave out 170 book bags tonight and ran out. We had people who were not there, most likely because of the rain. If you would like to help provide items to make more book bags, please contact Sharon Hoppes at 828-850-2542.
Thanks to everyone who provided supplies and helped to assemble the bags. Also thanks to everyone who helped provide and serve food each night. We had an estimated 50 volunteers every night and everyone was busy.
I am so thankful for the way God has provided for our needs so that we can continue to help our friends who are in need. Thursday night a lady asked if we could help her with groceries. She said she had almost nothing in her cabinets and she has a teenage daughter and a 7 year old son who is ADHD and has a urinary problem due the the medication he has to take. We took her groceries and pull-ups for him and bought her some gas so she can look for work. She has a job interview soon but without gas she will not be able to get to the interview.
We also had a student in middle school that needed a clarinet. We weren't sure how to handle this unique request, but one of our volunteers put a post on Facebook to see if anyone could help and within three minutes, a clarinet was donated. The student was thrilled when it was delivered to her on Saturday.
The needs in our area are great and we are able to help with many of them but we have limited resources, although we continue to receive money at the most unexpected times. On Saturday, Phil and Martha were going into Burger King to get a sandwich and a friend was waiting outside for someone and she handed them $300 to help with needs of the ministry. This past Sunday after Church we were having lunch at a local restaurant and a gentleman stopped me to ask how to make a check to help. The check was for $500. A lady stopped by Phil's house recently to leave a "little" check to help. The "little" check was for $1000! Another man donated $100 to buy groceries.
Thursday we ordered groceries for next Monday. We expect the cost to be about $1500. We also have to have more detergent and toiletries. We have delivered all we had left from last monday's distribution. We are delivering groceries in ever increasing numbers. Since August 3rd, we have had 60 calls asking for help in a variety of ways.
Phil attended a meeting Tuesday of area agencies to work on solving hunger and homelessness. Every agency there except for Highways & Hedges is funded through government grants, United Way monies or private sector funding. What they all realize is that funding is shrinking and they still have the same problems they've had for years. They too are all learning that Highways & Hedges fills in where they cannot. Highways and Hedges is receiving more and more calls from these agencies asking for assistance to provide their clients with in-kind items, help with rent and power bills, help paying for medications and providing groceries. Several have asked if we have housing for their clients.
Phil was asked to meet with DSS staff this past Monday to tell them about our ministry so they can use us as a resource for their clients.
I'm sure you remember that we recently received 160 beds (mattresses and box springs) from Crowne Plaza Hotel. We now have none! They have all been placed or promised. We received the beds in May. We still have calls daily for beds.
We welcome you to come see what the Lord is doing through this ministry and the people He is using. I ask for your continued prayers that we remain under God's direction so that all the glory is His!
How can you convince a man of the love of God when his feet are perishing with the cold?
General Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army
Proverbs 3:27-28 says, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is within your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don't say, 'Come back tomorrow and then I'll help you." Procrastination is deceptive. You don't think of it as disobedience, because you intend to obey God. It's just that you're going to do it...when you have more money, when you're not so busy, when the holidays are over, when the kids get back to school, etc.
Before God gives you an increase, He observes what you do with what you've already got. Jesus said, "No procrastination, no backward looks." You can't put God's kingdom off until tomorrow. Seize the day. (Lk 9:59-62) The result of delayed obedience is lost opportunity. It's time to act now!
Pastor Malcolm Bane observed,"If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you'll end up not doing anything for anybody." The wise do at once what the fool does at last.
The blessing of God is what you get in exchange for wholehearted devotion. When you think about it, it is a small price to pay.
Copied from The Word For You Today
(Written by an Anonymous Local Homeless Person)
Being homeless means wearing clothes you did not pick out.
Being homeless means eating what they give you.
Being homeless means having to hear a sermon before you can eat.
Being homeless means being asked for your ID by the police for being in the park.
Being homeless means hiding everything you own so no one will throw them away.
Being homeless means spending most of your day with addicts and the mentally ill, even if you yourself are not.
Being homeless means people are surprised you have an opinion on the presidential election.
Being homeless means walking several miles to eat.
Being homeless means eating meals in a soup kitchen no person would ever order in a restaurant.
Being homeless means rich church folks giving you second-hand underwear.
Being homeless means standing in line for everything.
Being homeless means having to pee but local merchants won't let you use their bathroom.
Being homeless means crying when it rains, because everything you own is ruined.
Being homeless means choosing between standing in line for hours to get food, clothing, or medical attention or going to work today.
Being homeless means paying $5 to cash that $47 check.
Being homeless means wondering how you are supposed to get a job when you cannot take a shower.
Being homeless means being afraid to tell anyone where you sleep.
Being homeless means talking to your children on a borrowed phone.
Being homeless means being afraid to hope anymore.
Notice to all volunteers:
Due to worsening weather predictions, we are planning an abbreviated program tomorrow evening for the people who are able to get to the church. We are going to pack some groceries and a takeout meal for them and send them back out the door.
If you don't feel comfortable getting out in the weather, please don't. We have enough volunteers who live close in to handle the situation, especially since we don't expect a large crowd and won't have a regular program.
If you had food items to bring for the meal, you can call me or martha and we can arrange for an early drop-off. We won't need any beverages for tomorrow - just food only.
Call or email if you have questions or concerns. 828-781-8095 or 828-781-8096 - Martha.