Thursday, July 22, 2010
Serving the poor at Manna Market
Last week seven of us from Chain of Lakes Church volunteered at Manna Market, a food distribution ministry that is coordinated by Son Life Church in Blaine. Manna Market distributes fresh vegetables, fruit and meat products to low-income residents from eastern Anoka County. They distribute food on Tuesday and Thursday nights at Son Life Church.
This ministry was an opportunity for us at Chain of Lakes Church to have direct contact with low-income folks. My task was to stand behind a table and offer fresh meat. Each participant could choose one package of fresh meat from two boxes. The people selecting the meat were grateful and very polite. James Chapman, pastor of Son Life Church, shared with us that many of the families who come to Manna Market have zero income. The food that is distributed is the only fresh food that families will have for an entire week.
I enjoyed serving last week because I had the opportunity to see the face of the poor.
Before we started serving I saw a person who I knew I had seen in the past. I had a moment where I knew I had seen the person before, but I couldn’t remember where I had seen the person.
As the person came through the line, I remembered where I knew the person. The person was a server at a local restaurant. I have been to the restaurant many times; I never knew that this person was struggling financially.
I was touched that I was serving this person food at Manna Market--a person who had served me many times at a restaurant.
At that moment poverty wasn’t invisible to me. It was represented on the face of someone I had come to know—but obviously much of the person’s life was invisible to me.
I would guess that many of the rest of us would be shocked if we learned about people who are in poverty.
I’m very hopeful that we at Chain of Lakes can partner over time with Manna Market. This is a ministry that is directly living out Matthew 25—“whatever you do to the least of these, you do it to me.”