In less than 2 months, we will be starting our first DTS in two years! Everything seems to be coming together for Gleanings to be able to jump back into training next generation missionaries the fundamentals of hearing from the Lord and who they are in Christ! This is a season of transition and change for us and we need prayer! Veteran YWAM DTS leaders Stan and Nancy Bracy will be joining us to help lead the DTS, and will be joined by Gleanings staffers Dean and Sue Ross. All while Cindy Meier is mentoring Kathryn Pepper in the area of being a DTS Director.
Three truckloads of food went out this week, carrying over 122,000 pounds of dried soup to hungry people in Guatemala and Ukraine.
In addition to soup, 2,219 pounds of donated raisins and 391 pounds of water filters are headed to Eric and Lisa Rivera in Guatemala! Eric and Lisa used to be on staff here at Gleanings for the Hungry, and now they are living in Guatemala, distributing Gleanings food to starving children every day. It is such a privilege to be a part of worldwide food relief—all in the name of Jesus Christ.
PREPARING for PEACH SEASON
Gleanings had two weeks off before the summer season started, but a lot of projects were completed during that time: the field is now prepared for the first trays of fruit to be laid out, bunkbeds are in the dorm rooms, the kitchen freezer is re-built, the kitchen has a new coat of paint, and summer staff interns have arrived.
If it were not for the hard work of many full-time Gleanings staff and Mission Builders, we would not have been able to get so many projects completed. Thank you so much for all of your faithful service to us, the ministry, and the Lord!
WELCOMING SUMMER STAFF
The Summer Staff program, led by new staff member Andy Rotunno, began with worship and devotions in the peach plant, a trip to the Hume Lake high ropes course, and Strengths Finder team training. It has been a week of bonding, planning, and preparing, as we look ahead to the first week of peach production. The first teams arrive on June 4.
Thank you so much for your faithfulness to pray for us in our full-time ministry to the poor and needy. Please continue to pray for:
- Summer Staff to grow in their talents and leadership skills, and to grow closer to the Lord
- Safety for all the teams as they travel here this summer, and safety for everyone working to process the peaches
- Blessings over all volunteers and all donors
- Food that is en route to hungry people—customs, delivery, distribution
- People receiving the food to receive nourishment, rejuvenation, and hope in Christ
- Discipleship Training School (DTS) starting in the fall
- The Holy Spirit to guide us and cover us in all we do
- Gleanings staff and their families—provision, strength, peace
“Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?” Job 38:41
When every volunteer you meet at Gleanings is brimming with the joy of the Lord, you know it’s a good week!
We packed up 1,230,075 servings of soup this week, thanks to amazing volunteers from Crossroads Calvary Chapel (Grass Valley, CA), HEART homeschoolers (Redwood City, CA), a full-time RV family of seven, and our dependable short and long-term volunteers. Thank you so much for taking the time to serve with us!
“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:9
Even though the quilt room is now closed for the summer, we are excited to share our numbers for the quilt season, October 2016 through May 2017:
641 new quilts done
127 finished quilts sent from outside sources
126 children’s quilts finished
925 sent to refugees in Israel (some were made last year)
40 sent to refugees in Greece
214 adult size and 126 child size sent to Haiti
10 sent to Mexico
a few miscellaneous sent to bless individuals
144 boxed and waiting to go out
A few volunteers helped build and paint wooden boards for upcoming bean-bag toss tournaments for the summer staff. We were pleasantly surprised by the artistic beauty the volunteers added to the front of the boards, including murals of the peach field, ornate peach designs, and Bible verses. How amazing to watch them minister with gifts and talents we never expected, and to receive the blessing of those gifts in our community. We are looking forward to meeting our summer staff and using our new sets in just a few weeks.
Trent and Siobhan Walker left full-time church ministry over a year ago, packed up their five young boys and some cameras in an RV, and began a family adventure across the United States—a ministry they like to call Everyday Family Adventure, spreading the gospel via a YouTube channel.
“We are an ordinary family doing extraordinary things, through the power of God,” Trent said at Love Feast Thursday night, explaining how God called them to resign from leading a worship ministry at church, sell their home in Michigan along with all their belongings, purchase an RV, and take their kids roadschooling.
“We want our children to see the God of miracles,” Siobhan said.
Trent explained how they came to a decision to live in a RV and document their journey on YouTube: “I was the provider, I was the pastor, and I didn’t even need God. At the same time, my awesome job started to unravel, and unrest came into every place,” Trent said.
But it was not an easy transition, and Trent and Siobhan did not know what they were going to do next. Trent became overwhelmed with fear and rage, thinking, “What did I just do?”
“I got on my knees, so broken, and I wrote some music. It was a deep, concentrated pursuit of God. And God just showed up in the most spectacular way.”
Trent told his wife he would be open to the idea of an RV life, which she had already felt called to. And that was when their unconventional journey began.
“Jesus was a storyteller,” Siobhan added. “We need to be storytellers too. We need to bring stories to YouTube and the world.”
The Walkers found out about Gleanings For the Hungry from one of their YouTube subscribers. They were able to come stay here in their RV, lead worship in chapel in the mornings, serve in the soup plant all week, and share their testimony at Love Feast.
We wish them the best on their family mission and can’t wait for them to return when the Lord leads them to serve the poor with us again.
SHARE THE LOVE
Even though many people come to the microphone with hands shaking, the volunteers who share on the open mic on Friday mornings speak bold truth and tender encouragement; the full-time staff like to call it “payday.”
“He’s restored my joy [this week].”
“This great place just builds family.”
“What happens here on the base is so special to those who come.”
“The volunteers that come—we get to be fed.”
“If it weren’t for Christ, we’d never get the blessing of meeting each other.”
“I thought, ‘I’m going to bless people.’ But I’ve been blessed.”
“There’s something different here, and it’s a heart thing.”
PRAYER REQUEST and PRAISE REPORT
Solar power will save the Gleanings ministry about $100,000 annually. Praise the Lord! We need less than $40,000 to get our solar panel project completed. We have been patient to finish without any debt. Please continue to pray and give as you feel led. We know the project will be finished soon.
“Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars.” Psalm 148:3
Why not start the month of May with beautiful people and beautiful weather, serving the Lord at Gleanings? We were so blessed to have Wilshire Avenue Community Church (Anaheim, CA) and short and long-term volunteers from Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, British Colombia, India, Taiwan, and Switzerland.
Over 1,360,000 servings of soup packed, and 10 quilts completed just this week! Thank you Jesus!
Although she has been blind for 10 years, Shirley Kroeze was determined to use her artistic gifts to help the needy. She completed ten quilt tops on her sewing machine at home and brought them here to assemble, finish, and tie. She came all the way from Nebraska to work in the quilt room with her sister, and she had a very special gift to give.
How do you sew quilts if you cannot see? Shirley made the quilts by touch, carefully adding safety pins to know when to stop sewing.
The finished quilts were on display at the Love Feast, and it was a very special moment to see her express the love that she put into the beautiful quilts.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
This week at Love Feast, our weekly thank-you dinner for our volunteers, guest speaker Tony Gschwend reminded us that even though we want an immediate answer to prayer and we want to feel better after we pray, we might not get what we want. The Lord knows what we need even more than we do.
“Don’t say, ‘Lord, give me the goods. Lord, give me the gifts.’ But go to the one who is the giver of good gifts. Cling to the person—that person is Jesus Christ our Lord. Then we will have great satisfaction in this life and the life to come.”
Tony pointed to volunteer Russell Rigg, who still comes to serve at Gleanings at age 99, and said, “Isn’t it a great quality of life to serve the Lord Jesus for many years of life?”
Later, when asked to share a word of wisdom with a younger generation, Russell Rigg said, “God is there all the time, in every need that we have. He’s done that for me my whole life. It’s so precious to have complete dependency on the Lord. The Lord has taken care of us all along, and he will continue to do so.”
Even at age 99, Russell comes to Gleanings with his wife, Carole, to serve in the soup plant twice a year, and they plan to return in October to serve again.
“[Gleanings] is a great place to fly up like an eagle on higher spheres,” Tony said. “Problems look much smaller as we connect with our God.”
El Roy and Joyce Pankow brought a team of 47 people from the Fullerton area to volunteer at Gleanings this week. El Roy’s vision is to have as many people as possible experience the blessing of volunteering with family members—what he calls intergenerational mission trips.
“I was a peach picker as a kid,” El Roy said. “We had a ring to measure the fruit, and we threw away the peaches that were too big or too small.”
When El Roy heard about the Gleanings ministry, he was immediately drawn to it because those same peaches he had seen wasted were now being put to good use to feed the hungry of the world.
El Roy is a pastor and a professional musician. He played piano on Christian cruise ships for many years and accompanied Bob Shepherd for many years. His first trip to Gleanings was 10 years ago, and now he comes as many times as he can, bringing people of all ages to serve the Lord together.
SHARE THE LOVE
What did our volunteers have to say this week?
“Thank you, God, for getting me here.”
“I’ve learned that there is so much to share and so much to learn about each other.”
“We might say we are ordinary, but we are not. We are extraordinary in our love of God.”
“God has given his spirit here in such an unusual way.”
“I felt [peace] right when I made that left turn in here.”
“A place like Gleanings is different because you are here truly for the Lord.”
“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeing you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3
Soup Production: 1,350,000+ servings
What a privilege to serve alongside Arbor Road Church (Long Beach, CA), Bethany Church (Long Beach, CA), Good Shepherd Presbyterian (Los Alamitos, CA), and Victoria Alliance Church (Victoria, BC), packing up over 1,350,000 servings of soup and 26 new quilts. Thank you to all of our short and long-term volunteers for your faithful service to the Lord, helping to feed and care for hungry people.
LOVE FEAST: SPEAKER TONY GSCHWEND
“Where should I go next? It’s not just a question for [missionaries]. It’s a question for all of us.” Tony Gschwend, from Switzerland, was our guest speaker at our Love Feast this week, and he encouraged each one of us to find a quiet place—free from distraction—and listen with expectation, because the Lord will be faithful to give us direction and answer our cries.
“God clears the wax of the world out of the ears of man.” How many of us feel like we have wax in our ears and cannot hear clearly because of all the busy things the world is telling us?
“There is no shortcut to going with a quiet heart to a quiet place for a quiet time,” Tony said. With all of our screens and distractions, we find it harder and harder to find a quiet place. “Seek him early. Do it in the morning.”
Tony encouraged us to be like the prophet Habakkuk and go to the Lord with great determination and expectation. “Are we expecting to hear from the Lord? Come to the Lord with expectation … God makes true on his promises each and every time.”
Habakkuk, just three short chapters, is very relevant for our time, showing us how history repeats itself, and how the Lord promises to redeem the righteous and the oppressed.
Tony also shared why he loves to come back to Gleanings for the Hungry time and time again. “Gleanings has a special place in my heart. My daughter serves on staff here. My best friend is director here … We are all winners here because the one who serves is always the winner.”
“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:18