Unexpected miracles in a rural Missouri community
By Hope Mayes
“What are we going to do with hundreds of thousands of plastic forks?”
Every six to eight weeks, Encounter Church in Sedalia, Missouri receives food and supplies from Convoy of Hope’s ministry, Rural Compassion. Their partnership over the years blessed many homes, businesses, and schools in their community through the distribution of essential supplies. Sometimes on seemingly ordinary days, God directs accurate timing to bring the right resources.
“On one of the occasions we picked up supplies from Rural Compassion; they had given us a pallet full of hundreds and thousands Sam’s Club style plastic forks,” explained lead pastor of Encounter Church, Chris Gray. “We didn’t know what we were going to do with all of those forks!” That week, when church volunteers allocated supplies to the different members in their community, each order received hundreds of extra plastic forks in attempt use them. One afternoon, Pastor Chris Gray arranged for a school, which the church had developed a partnership and often blessed, to receive an especially large order of these plastic forks.
A volunteer from Encounter Church works at this school and often transport the supplies to the school. She unloaded her car to make the school’s cafeteria delivery of six boxes of these plastic forks, thinking, “I don’t know why I’m doing this. This is a waste of time. They don’t need these forks!”
She arrived at the cafeteria and gave the forks to the head of the kitchen staff; however, then the cafeteria worker surprisingly stopped her and said, “You don’t understand.” Tears started to stream down the kitchen worker’s face, “We ran out of forks this morning. There were not enough forks to serve the kids for lunch. We were going to have to use our real forks and we don’t have enough of those for every class period!” The church volunteer stood stunned as she recalled her earlier thoughts while delivering the forks to the cafeteria. The kitchen staff member continued, “We didn’t know what we were going to do. Then you walked in with all the forks we needed.”
When the volunteer told Pastor Chris Gray what happened at the cafeteria that afternoon, he too became amazed that God takes any opportunity possible to show His love and open doors. He realized God cares for every single person, school, and community.
Testimonies like this continue to arise in the time of the corona virus pandemic. Every Monday, Pastor Gray helps distribute about 300 food packs to his community through a drive through pick up location. Pastor Chris Gray says through this, God’s love has spread like wildfire; “We’ve had handful of people that have messaged us and said, “‘You don’t understand, without this we would not have had food this week,’ and ‘Thank you to your church for supplying food.’” One stunned person called to ask, “Is it really the church that puts this on?” He answered, “Absolutely.” To which the person answered, “Really! The church is doing this!”
God’s hand opening doors for people to view His love and blessing on display in surprising and different ways, which amazes Pastor Chris Gray and Encounter Church; even when blessings come in the form of thousands of plastic forks.
- Who could partner with you to show Jesus love in your community?
- What new opportunities has God provided through unusual circumstances?
- How has God surprised you in the past?
- How can your new circumstances encountered become an opportunity?