A Day God Blessed Our Community

christian family stewardship stewardship of family Nov 27, 2022

“The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

PSALM 145:15-16


 

Introduction

Sometimes God puts something on our hearts and we feel compelled to make it happen. We believe it is important to react to these stirrings of the soul, especially when they are directed at kindness toward others. We would like to share with you the story of a time when God gave us an idea to put into action. We placed it in His hands and He blessed it beyond anything we could have hoped to accomplish on our own!

How It Started

Derek was approaching his ten year anniversary at the hospital and wanted to do something special for his staff. His first thought was to have a “Christmas In July” party, but this quickly turned into the idea for an open house. An open house would allow him to invite more people: hospital staff, volunteers, his patients, etc.

It didn’t take long to realize just how big this party could get, and so we started thinking about hosting the event at a local restaurant and inviting our entire local community. Restaurants can also be great fundraising venues, so we decided to host a Community Appreciation Event and have it run all day. The idea was huge and daunting, and we knew it was bigger than either of us. We both felt this was God’s event: An idea given to us to implement for His glory.

Preparing the Way

We knew this CAE would never work without a lot of prayer, and so our family did a lot of praying! We lifted this event up to the Lord and asked Him to bless it – the restaurant, the workers, the community – and to use our family however He wished.

We chose a favorite local restaurant chain – Runza – as the venue. With the support of the hospital foundation and administration, Derek spoke with the manager and the two of them came up with the idea to provide one meal per person who came to the event. In His providence, God worked out the timing perfectly. We discovered that this particular restaurant was scheduled to be torn down later in the month. When we had originally conceived the idea, we had wanted to wait several more weeks before putting it into action, but ended up deciding to host it earlier than we’d planned. What a blessing to see the timing fall together so beautifully!

To promote this CAE, the hospital marketing department helped create flyers and our family put them up around town. Invitational emails were sent out to the hospital workers and a social media event was created online to let the community know. Kindly, Runza happily agreed to donate a percentage of the proceeds to the local hospital foundation. Before long, there was a good amount of excitement buzzing around town!

Since we couldn’t be involved in the cooking process, our family ordered two hundred cupcakes so that we could personally participate in serving during the CAE. We also got the names of the Runza employees scheduled to work that day and ordered gift cards and thank you notes for them. Amy prayed for everyone specifically as she wrote the letters, and each member of our family signed them.

God Blesses the Day

The morning of the CAE, our entire family was excited. We prayed for the workers, for the community we love, and that God would bless our offering in the way He saw best. The event was set to run all day – 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM – and each person who came into Runza was gifted with one free meal.

Amy and the kids arrived around 11:00 AM and it was already starting to get busy. She showed the kids how to properly handle the cupcakes, and then they took it from there! One mom standing in line asked why we were handing out dessert. She didn’t know about the event and was pleasantly surprised to find out that the meals for her and her children were paid for already. 

People from all walks of life entered the doors of Runza that day. Professionals, blue-collar workers, parents and kids, the handicapped, the elderly, doctors, patients, etc. One worker commented that it was like the whole town came out and shared a meal together. It was a beautiful thing to witness! 

Amy and Leah had put up a flyer at the local senior center several days before, and met an elderly man while they were there. They saw him at the event, and he told them he was a patient of Derek’s. It was his first time being in the Runza restaurant!

We quickly saw that the community loved and appreciated the CAE. There were many comments on social media expressing gratitude and joy. The workers at Runza had a positive attitude all day as well. They were friendly and took care of any issues with orders right away. We were able to personally thank many of them and give them the letters and gift cards.

Throughout the day, the management kept us updated with the cost of the event so that we were aware of how things were progressing. We left the cost in God’s hands (it’s all His money anyway!), and were confident in His provision and blessing. Though the event was supposed to end at 10:00 PM, we did decide to end at 8:00 instead because the day had been so busy that the workers needed the extra time to clean up and close the restaurant before going home.

Counting the Blessings

Overall, the CAE went extremely well and was very smooth. We had zero major problems. Everyone was grateful and cheerful. The manager estimated that over 1,400 meals were served that day – more than twice their normal orders on a busy day! Shockingly, even with these high numbers, Runza didn’t run out of food. This meant that everyone who wanted to eat was fed. The event was likely the biggest day they’d ever had, both in meals served and money made.

The event raised a significant amount of money for the hospital foundation, and our family was blessed with immense joy and thankfulness as we watched it all play out. We received countless thank you notes, in person and over social media. Families thanked us for the blessing of sharing a meal together without the stress of preparation. We even had people thank us who didn’t attend the event because they loved the fact that this was happening in our town, even if they couldn’t personally come. 

Organizing this CAE gave us a great opportunity to show our faith to the community we love and point others to the God who provided for all of it. One mother posted online: “As we prayed tonight, my daughter said, ‘Thank you to the Lord and the good doctor who bought the whole town food.” What a joyful and humbling experience for our family!

Conclusion

Of all the people and businesses in our community that God could have used to accomplish this event, we are truly grateful that He chose us to be His hands and feet in this way. We have continued to pray for the people we met and served that day, and that God will use us to do something like this again in the future.

Key Points

  • Don’t underestimate how God can use you to bless others.
  • Always be willing and prepared to use the blessings God has given you for His purposes and to His glory.

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