The Loaves and Fishes of Thanksgiving 2023
A few years ago, our oldest 3 children created with us the DBH Joy Project. The idea was to do something in memory of their birth mother, Megan Joy Kernicky. They knew that the times that they were with their birth mom and the times they were in foster care, many people impacted their lives by helping in little ways--- groceries, Christmas presents, school clothes--- spreading a little joy.
Out of this idea, the DBH Joy Project began packing "blessing bags" at Easter and Thanksgiving with Bakerstown Alliance Church. These bags usually had lots of non-perishable food items for a nice holiday meal, a gift card, and a family game. Then a few years ago, Pine-Richland football said they wanted to join the efforts. We quickly went from blessing about 15 families to 30- then 40- then 50. The football team started collecting the items and packing the bags. We would then contact Pine-Richland guidance counselors and they would identify families in need. The guidance counselors then distribute the bags and we say a pray for the unknown families.
Last year, it felt like we were giving away bags. So we decided to make 40 total bags. Then the calls came in.... the need was greater then ever in our community, but the bags were already packed. We also partnered with Glade Run Lutheran Services to help them bless some of the families they serve. The need they had was also far greater than last year.
So we put out a call. A call for families to pack their own bag. A call to try to get at least 20 more bags to bless people.
And you know what happend---PEOPLE STEPPED UP. The bags/baskets kept coming in. There was joy in making them, joy in giving them out, and I saw joy on the faces of some of those receiving. It reminded me so much of the story of the loaves and the fishes that is told in all four Gospels:
Here's what happened in the story:
Jesus asked his disciples to feed a large crowd.
The disciples said it was impossible.
A boy with the disciples had five loaves and two fish.
Jesus thanked God for the food.
Jesus broke the loaves and fish, gave thanks, and gave them to the disciples.
The disciples gave the food to the people.
Everyone ate and was satisfied.
The disciples picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces.
The story is a reminder that Jesus cares about our physical and spiritual well-being. It also encourages people to offer their resources to help those in need.
It was such a blessing to witness the community coming together to help others. The DBH Joy Project was a part of providing over 70 bags this Thanksgiving--- and helped pack and distribute over 100 with Glade Run.
Thank YOU for responding when we need help locally and in Honduras. We are thankful to be a part of God's redeeming work here on earth with you.