Project Jerusalem by Audra Chaney
Picture with me West Park’s gym, the one in our Children’s Ministry Center we all know & love.
As you picture our gym, you may see your AWANA clubbers sitting at their color line hoping to be picked for the game, or maybe you see your first-grade class singing and dancing to the worship music during Kidz Klub on Sunday mornings. Maybe you picture your family sitting around a table during one of our Family Gathering socials on Sunday evenings, eating Tee & Kendra’s delicious tacos while keeping an eye on your excited three-year-old. Maybe you see the gym full of people in red, green, and blue t-shirts, eating popcorn and mingling with community members during last summer’s VBS, or maybe you see the gym filled with missionaries sipping Tee & Kendra’s delicious lemonade and sharing about lives that have been changed by the Gospel.
However you see the gym right now, I want you to clear the bouncing basketballs, AWANA pins, Styrofoam cups, and your running three-year old from your mind. Now, picture this same gym filled instead with long tables, boxes upon boxes stacked on the floor, rolls upon rolls of empty tape from assembling those boxes, cans upon cans of veggies, fruits, and many other essential food items, many masked volunteers trying to keep a 6-foot distance, but thoroughly enjoying the social interaction, and hours of behind-the-scene prep spent to ensure a smooth system of unloading and organizing food from a large truck. What we are picturing together is yet another form that our beloved gym has become for this new season.
This unforeseen crisis has left many families in our communities without their daily bread and the means to obtain it. But since our God is the giver of daily bread and cares so deeply for these hungry people, He has a plan. So, in West Park’s Heaven-ward plead, asking God how we can help, He pointed us to our gym, our already successful Bread of Life Food Pantry, our already established friendships with community members through CedarBrook Outreach, and our partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank to reveal His plan. And this plan for West Park’s response in this time has a name. This name is Project Jerusalem. Because our Jerusalem is in need.
Those involved with Project Jerusalem have already seen God largely at work by how fast loads of food, volunteers, resources, and space were available in such a short notice to make this feeding of Jerusalem a reality. God is at work through the smiling faces behind those face masks that have come from all over to drive the food truck, unload it, organize the food, build the boxes, pack the food, place information about our church and a Bible tract inside each box, and drive it to the houses of the hurting. So in the depths of this crisis and hurt, our Sovereign God gave us a God-sized vision and the resources to make it happen. Oh how we praise Him and rejoice that families are being fed, not just physically, but spiritually from the heart of a Father that has not forgotten them.
Audra Chaney is the Director of Student Ministry at West Park Baptist Church.