January is always a time of new beginnings as we mark the end of one calendar year, and the start of a new one. Somehow last year is old and gone, and the new has come. It’s like that with Jesus too. Even though the work that continues here looks familiar, we are experiencing new life in Jesus, and expecting great things this year. Here are some photos from the first few weeks of the new year. Enjoy!
How sweet is the daylight, and how pleasant it is for someone’s eyes to behold the sunshine! Ecclesiastes 11:7
True to the “Joseph” anointing that has been a part of this ministry, we have been working on a major project to put grain silos in place, and incorporate them in to our soup making process. Al Gove has equipped these silos with fumigating capabilities, so we can fumigate ingredients such as rice or lentils that are being stored before they get into our soup mix. Al and team are working currently to add ingredients that are stored in the silos directly in to our mixer! Please pray for the continued success and progress of this and other projects around Gleanings that will increase our ability to produce quality, nutritious soup to help feed hungry people who need Jesus!
Every bag of dried soup mix and every bucket of dried peaches is a gift to the Lord. Did you know Convoy of Hope tractors and trailers are provided to them by Speed the Light? STL funds all of their donated equipment with children’s coin drives. From children’s coin drives to all-volunteer soup production, surely these are gifts pleasing to the Lord. We are so blessed!
Time for a long overdue update! We have indeed started making soup for the fall season. In Zec 4:10 it says: “ Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,” and that is the motto around Gleanings the last couple of weeks! We have taken a little extra time between seasons this year, and starting back up has been a little slow. We have had some small groups, but have been able to accomplish much! We had some of more seasoned volunteers running peaches this week – right along with students from Hanford Christian School and a day group from 1st Presbyterian Bakersfield making soup. Talk about role reversals 🙂 Here are some pictures, enjoy and rejoice with us that the work has begun!
In Hebrews Paul encourages the saints to persevere – ” And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” – and that is what this last week of our summer has been all about. God has given us so many blessings multiplied through the years, and this summer has been no exception. We have been able to work so hard all summer long, but instead of checking out early and sliding into the break, it seems like we are working even harder if that is possible. The field is empty – all the peaches have been dried. The stacks of trays are being put away for the winter – even the sulfur tunnels are emptied and cleaned. On top of all that – we are putting in a 100 foot pad of cement for truck to turn around – getting the ground ready for a cement pour. We are cleaning out the silos we brought – getting them ready for use with truckloads of rice. We are removing some dead trees from the property – even deep cleaning some of the plant equipment. Way to go team! Thanks to all of our volunteers from the Portland, OR area, our mission builders and all our staff for finishing strong!
I want to show you some pictures – glimpses of what a great week we had last week. However, looking at these pictures one might start wondering what is so great about them. They are nice quality pictures, sure – but there’s nothing there that stands out as really different from what we did all the previous weeks of summer. Nothing that pops. The fact is even though they say a picture is worth a thousand words -even words fall short of the life-changing power of the presence of God. We planned worship and a guest speaker during our love feast celebration dinner on Friday evening as is our practice during the summer. We put out special decorations. We prepare a special meal. We even have special lighting and ambiance for the festivities. We do all this as a way to thank our volunteers for the week. Somehow in the midst of all of our plans and preparations, the Holy spirit starts marvelously touching people, ministering to them, changing lives. During worship I noticed a high school aged guy get down on his knees in worship, spontaneously worshipping the King of Kings. One of his friends joined him, sharing the moment. Beautiful. Then out of the corner of my eye, I notice the young adult next to me is actually crying. in moments I was witness to the fact that the Holy Spirit was ministering to this young man in the deep places of his soul. The pictures may not show it, but Summer can really be a fantastic time of ministry!