What a big job! I’m going to try and describe what we did, otherwise even looking at the pictures wouldn’t make much sense. One of our wells is located on the Southeast corner of the property. We cleaned and serviced the pump and put it back down in the well. The challenge comes when you realize this well is over one thousand feet deep! We are using a special water hose instead of metal pipe, to make the job easier. When you look at the close-up pictures you can see we have banded the rubber hose together with the heavily insulated power cord. The power cord alone weighs over a pound per foot. In order to control the pump, hose, and cord as they descend into the well, we used a couple tractors, chains, a pulley, and a whole lot of people power! First, we laid it all out – along the entire length of the property. Then, when all was ready, the signal was given, and we began to slowly walk the pipe toward the well. Special power washer sprayers were rigged up to wash the mud off the hose for its descent into the well. A special thank you to all who worked on this special project!
“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7“The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. Deuteronomy 28:6
We started the week off celebrating the official turning on of our Solar field – a dream come true! would you believe we ended up making about 2.5 million servings of soup along with dozens of quilts and all the other things that go on around here? What a great place of blessing that we should be able to a part of God’s Plan. We truly are blessed coming and blessed going! Here are a few pictures from the week,
Dear God, you are so good to take our five loaves and two fish and multiply them for the masses!
We want to thank our volunteers for their hard work making this whole process happen: Calvary Chapel Modesto (Modesto, CA), Calvary Chapel Oxnard (Oxnard, CA), Philobos Group (Corona, CA), all short and long-term volunteers, backpackers, staff, summer staff, and family members! Thank you so much for dedicating your time and attention to this ministry!
“Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ . . . Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.” Matthew 14:16-21
LOVE FEAST SPEAKER: Alexey Wagner
SHARE THE LOVE
- We love to hear how God works in the hearts of our volunteers!
- “I feel like I got connected, and I know God wants that for all of us.”
- “Don’t be afraid of people. Don’t be afraid to love them and be loved by them.”
- “I am his; that’s what he’s been showing me this week. I feel so much closer to him.”
- “Take this family, this connection, with you.”
- “God didn’t have to do the same thing twice—this week was something special.”
- “I’m humbled every time I come here.”
- “Jesus was right there next to me.”
- “This was all rad.”
- “Who cares about the plan! Just keep God first.”
- “It’s his righteousness that makes us worthy.”
- “Thank you for showing me the love of God.”
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18
Volunteers always cheer with excitement when they hear the numbers:
504,000 pounds of peaches were processed this week!
207 new stacks of peaches are drying on the field!
27,668 pounds of dried peaches are packed up and ready to ship!
Thank you so much for your dedication to feed the poor and needy! We are so grateful for all our volunteers: Dunlap Baptist Church (Dunlap, CA), Eagle Point Church on the Hill (Eagle Point, OR), San Ramon Valley UMC (Alamo, CA), Young Nak Presbyterian Church (Los Angeles, CA), Visalia Christian Reformed (Visalia, CA), the Lopez family, the Peachey group, the Antonellies, Summer Staff, full-time staff, and all our wonderful volunteers from Switzerland, Peru, Japan, Spain, China, France, Columbia, France, and Canada!
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
LOVE FEAST SPEAKER: ISABEL MONJE
“I went through many seasons of pain. There was a reason why. The Lord will always use that pain, that experience, because of that great testimony.”
Until age 12, Isabel only knew life in the orphanage in Bolivia. She was happy there, but she wondered why her friends were adopted and she wasn’t. When, at age 12, her father finally picked her up, she found out why she was never adopted: she had a dad, a stepmom, and brothers. But in their home, she was shunned—none of them loved or accepted her. Her dad only took her home because he was running for mayor.
“I lived in my father’s house seven years. It was the worst seven years of my life. I experienced all the abuses you can imagine. I tried to take my life.”
Finally, at age 19, Isabel came to the United States with her aunt. However, Isabel had to work two jobs, all hours of the day, and never saw a penny.
At that time, a co-worker saw that Isabel was depressed, and she told her about a heavenly father who loved her. “From the moment she started praying for me, God changed everything!” Isabel said.
The first time Isabel attended church, a missionary was preaching, explaining the freedom and peace that we find when we forgive those who have hurt us: “Forgiveness is not the benefit for them; forgiveness is the benefit for you to have the peace and joy in your heart.”
Once Isabel found Jesus, she forgave all her family members who abused her, and brought them one by one from Bolivia to the United States. She cared for her stepmother, who continued to show her rejection and hatred, up to her stepmother’s dying day.
“God created us to ask, ‘What can I do for you, Lord?’ When I learned that, the Lord opened doors for me.”
Isabel had a vision to help the poor and needy around the world. She started an organization called Transformacion Mundial. She and her husband John serve in that organization, opening the doors of orphanages and speaking on behalf of the poor.
Isabel’s life has come full circle, as she was once an orphan and is now caring for orphaned children—even calling one of the orphanages in Mexico “My Father’s House.”
“The Lord always has a plan for us to bless us!” Isabel said. “The Lord is looking for us to have the desire to say, ‘Here I am.’ No matter how old you are, God can use you, because God is seeking willing hearts.”
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14
SHARE THE LOVE
- “Why don’t I sense God’s presence at home? . . . We can’t escape God’s presence. We have to take time to connect with God at home. God is wherever you go.”
- “He wants you more than you want him.”
- “The rejected [peaches] may be gooey, but they have so much flavor.”
- “God is weaving things within what we are doing, and we don’t even realize it. I just want to give him glory for it.”
- “I’m leaving here full of the spirit.”
- “When we show up, God shows up.”
Exodus 14:21-22 “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”
We are in the middle of summer and the heat is intense. Even though it may be uncomfortable for us to work in the heat, we thank God for the hot sun that dries the peaches so we can send them to hungry people around the world!
A big thank you to volunteers from Escalade Youth Group (Fullerton, CA), Jericho Road Church (La Mirada, CA), and Refinery Kingsburg (Kingsburg, CA), Woodlake Presbyterian Church (Woodlake, CA), day groups from Radiant Visalia (Visalia, CA), the Johnson family, the Ennamorato family, Mission Builders, Summer Staff, full-time staff, and backpackers from Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, France, Peru, and Columbia!
Because of your hard work:
536,000 pounds of peaches were processed this week
37,117 pounds of dry fruit are ready to ship
150,000 servings of soup are packaged
Thank you for your obedience, perseverance, and generosity! May you be blessed by all the good fruit of the Spirit!
“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
SUMMER VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: KATIE NALTY
Called “Mama Nalty” by the students in the First Presbyterian Tacoma Church youth group, youth leader Katie Nalty has been coming to Gleanings almost every summer since 2005.
A kindergarten teacher and mother, Katie has always been teaching and caring for young ones, and God gave her the vision that she will watch over preschool-age kids to high school-age kids as her ministry.
“I feel a call from the Lord to be a ‘watchman on the wall’ for our youth, and for the children at our church,” Katie said.
This year marked 11 years since her first trip to Gleanings, although her church has been sending volunteers all the way from Washington for 22 years straight.
“I feel like God is calling me back [to Gleanings] every time. I like to see the kids’ spiritual growth, and I want to be consistent.”
One of her favorite things about Gleanings is how the trip has been instrumental in the lives of the students she mentors. “The students learn how to discern God’s direction,” Katie said.
Katie is proud of the fact that students who participate in the Gleanings mission trip are likely to do more outreach in the future.
“Many of the students in our youth group have come to do DTS [Discipleship Training School] because of their experience at Gleanings,” Katie said, “including Bethany [Waits], who is now on staff at Gleanings. It helps them to see that the body of Christ is bigger than just our church. It expands their vision for what is possible for them.”
To Katie, Gleanings has always felt like a home away from home. “Every time we arrive and see Rod [Lawrence], he says ‘Welcome home,’ and he gives us a big hug. Gleanings is like a home away from home, a spiritual place.” It’s a home where she can fulfill her calling to be a mama hen to her students in one of the most transformative mission experiences of their lives.
For all these reasons, Mama Nalty will continue to come back to Gleanings for as long as the Lord calls her and the Tacoma team. She is proud to serve with an organization that does what she calls First Church work: “Where you are serving the widows and orphans and the poor.”
“Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35
SHARE THE LOVE
On Saturday, volunteers shared the treasures they found this week at Gleanings:
- “You are here to serve. You are here to help impact people’s lives.”
- “God, your will be done. I’m here to serve you.”
- “We talk about Gleanings a lot throughout the rest of the year.”
- “It’s home here. It’s my home away from home.”
- “This work is hard. It’s OK to say this work is hard. We don’t do this work for ourselves; we do it as service to God, and that changes everything.”
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord . . . “ Colossians 3:23