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All this week in our prayer time, worship, and sharing, God has been reminding us that “The joy of the Lord is our strength!” Along with His joy, He also gives us plenty of fun and laughter here at Gleanings. Consider picture #1: Four clueless men by the forklift. Does anybody know how to get gas in this thing? Picture #2: Backpackers modeling purple hats in the quilt room. Are you ready for this?

Here at Gleanings we invite backpackers to come and serve with us. We call them backpackers, but they really are young people who are traveling around the world. These past couple of weeks we have had backpackers from France, Brazil, UK, Ecuador, Korea, Argentina, Peru, and Chili. This week our backpackers have worked hard on our sewer system, fixed bikes, and built display tables for our store. Three of the men wandered into our quilt room wanting sewing lessons, (which, of course, we were eager to give them); and when they shared their travel plans to go to the mountains for the weekend, we pulled out box of homemade hats made for the homeless. They then proceeded to model them for us, and we could hardly stop laughing. “It’s like home here”, one of our backpackers commented, as she tried to share with me that she has been spiritually impacted by her time here. We thank god for each one He has brought to us, and look forward to the ones He will bring in future.

In our soup plant, this week’s crew assembled ½ million servings of soup in one day! And last week’s crew assembled 2 million servings of food. Wow! Along with all that, a truck for Ukraine. So, thank you Lord for the laughter and fun, but most of all, thank you for your joy.