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!