News from the Society of St. Andrew, Gleaning Network

A quick glance at the numbers through January 2020

1.5 Million Pounds Collected and Distributed
4.5 Million Servings of Fresh Produce Provided
929 Passionate Volunteers Engaged
186 Events to End Hunger Held
208 Recipient Agencies Received Food

And a story of good news…

Today’s story is about two farmers who made a huge impact on their local communities. They donated what they had available– lima beans and bean shellers.

First, Chris, who is from Tennessee, found himself with a truckload of lima beans still in the shell. The season was ending, prices were dropping and he had thousands of pounds of lima beans in the shell unsold. But he couldn’t afford to shell them, package them, ship them, and then sell them at a loss.

But Chris didn’t want them to waste these beans, so he called the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA). He knew SoSA would have a solution!

In a matter of hours, volunteers were recruited to help repackage and distribute these beans.

Shelling beans is a time-consuming task though. It would take hours to peel all those shells by hand, just to have enough beans for a single meal for one family. It would take days to peel enough beans to share with hundreds of clients at a food pantry.

And when it comes to fresh produce, the clock is always ticking!

Most food has to be kept cold until it’s eaten. There is often very little notice about a food donation and then it must be packaged in a practical size and delivered to the recipients, all within a short period.

But the SoSA volunteers involved were not afraid of the challenge! They were ready to shell these lima beans by hand if it meant they could help feed their hungry neighbors.

These volunteers would soon discover a hidden blessing in their SoSA staff person, Timothy- he’s also a farmer by trade. And as a farmer, he had a specific set of skills and tools to help these volunteers impact their communities in a small amount of time!

Timothy lent his farm’s “pea and bean shellers” to the volunteers for a few hours. He worked with the volunteers, training and teaching them how to use the machines.

Timothy shared two reasons why he wanted to help in this way. First, he wanted to feed hungry people in his community. Second, he wanted to teach these volunteers a useful lesson. Timothy enjoys teaching people about where their food comes from.

News from Pat and Melenda Edmiston, Missionaries

Dear Prayer Partners,

Melenda and I have been missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators since 1980 and don’t plan on retiring anytime soon! I have been working with Seed Company (under the umbrella of Wycliffe Bible Translators) for more than 10 years now. God has worked through Seed Company to complete 576 New Testaments and 158 Old Testaments during the last 26 years.

Our model is to partner with people like you and Christians in the people groups needing Scripture in their Heart languages. The Seed Company assists more than 950 languages currently under translation.  We are focusing on the 2,000 remaining Bibleless people groups as we direct our prayers and resources.

Thank you for your prayer support throughout 2019. We pray that as you have been a blessing to us, the Lord will multiply his blessing upon you. We could not continue our ministry without your help.

In His Love,

Pat and Melenda

Thanks for Making God’s Love Real

Hyde Park’s Missions and Outreach Ministries supports a number of local and around the world missons. The Missions and Outreach committee recently recevied thank you notes from some of the missions the church supports.

From Habitat for Humanity

Dear Hyde Park United Methodist:

Thank you for your generous donation and to commitment to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat’s 2019 Interfaith Build event helped us build safe, stable housing for the Rodriquez and Hobbs families. Both are single parent families and were in need of firm foundations for the future. Because of your congregation’s sponsorship and volunteer support, Habitat Hillsborough is able to purchase the materials needed to build and underwrite the total cost of construction.

This support allowed Jennifer to enjoy her first holiday season in her new home, with her children, and Freddy Hobbs will be closing on his home this month.

On behalf of Jennifer Rodriguez, Freddy Hobbs and all of us at Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County, I want to say “THANK YOU!”

Sincerely,

Melissa Crawther

From Meals On Wheels of Tampa

Dear Friends,

Thank you! You made an important impact on the lives of Tampa’s homebound, elderly and disabled neighbors with your generous donation. You nourished, enriched and strengthened lives by providing daily nutritious mea;ls and caring visits. Often, recipients of Meals On Wheels of Tampa have nowhere else to turn for food and friendship. You fed them. You gave the care they needed.

Thank you so very much!

With grateful hearts,

Steven King, Executive Director
Cindy Vann, Senior Development Office

From Abe Brown Ministries, Inc.

Happy New Year, Rev. Vick!:

Welcome to 2020 and a new decade! I’m so excited about what God is doing at Abe Brown Ministries. I am also in great expectation of what God will do this year and beyond. Listen to His Word! Isaiah 43:19 states, “Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing. Now it springs forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”

As a result of your faithful giving, I believe that our clients will see a “new thing” manifested in their lives in 2020. A 20/20 mindset produces clarity and peace. Our goal is to help returning citizens first clearly see a thing in their minds before they can do it. Our vision is in focus – to break cycles of incarceration and transform lives.

Thank you for your recent gift and for supporting our vision. May God bless yu and your family abundantly with good health, joy, prosperity, favor and clear vision in 2020.

In expectation,

Robert P Blount, III, President

From Heifer International

To all the members of Hyde Park United Methodist,

Happy New Year! Thank you for your generous support. Your recent contribution is doing much more than cultivating land – the money is cultivating entrepreneurship that makes the world a more fair place for those in need. We appreciate you as we consistently work towards ending hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.

With sincere gratitude,

Melanie Kapinos

News from Phakamisa

Phakamisa is a ministry of Pinetown Methodist Church, our mission partner in South Africa. Their December, 2019 newsletter shares updates in the areas of Early Childhood Development, their Wandering School Christmas Party, Advance Sewing Group and Caregivers Year-End Party. Throughout their newsletter, they share a message of gratitude. Read the newsletter

Women’s Interfaith Gathering Cancelled

Women’s Interfaith Gathering Cancelled

This event, scheduled for March 25, has been cancelled to help #flattenthecurve, or reduce the spread of the coronavirus epideimic.

Gather with other women of all faiths at the 60th Annual Interfaith Gathering hosted by the Rodeph Sholom Sisterhood at 11 a.m. on March 25. Women representing different congregations will celebrate religious traditions. Refreshments will be served.

Who: Congregation Rodeph Sholom Sisterhood

What: The 60th annual Ann Zack Interfaith Gathering

When: Cancelled

Where: Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 2713 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa

For more information, contact Michele Norris or Lillian Stark of the Interfaith Program, 813.837.1911.

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