Elon Presbyterian Church
Remarks: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 for Gleaning for the World Award
It was my privilege to work closely with Gleaning for the World in the aftermath of the tornado which struck our area on both sides of the James River on April 15, 2018. Our church parking lot and fellowship hall became the staging ground for distribution to the neighborhoods affected.
Most of you have something of an idea of what Gleaning for the World does:
Our mission is to share the love of God at home and around the world through the efficient delivery of high quality, life-saving supplies to victims of poverty and devastation by connecting corporate surplus to critical needs.
Now that’s part of their mission statement. It sounds great. It is great!
But until you partner with Gleaning for the World, until you see that in action, until you experience the personal impact and make the personal connections, you can’t truly begin to understand the impact of this ministry!
… the efficient delivery of high quality, life saving supplies to victims of poverty and devastation by connecting corporate surplus to critical needs …
That could sound a bit sterile and impersonal. I mean Amazon is great at the efficient delivery of high quality supplies, right? Amazon connects what amounts to corporate surplus to what we imagine are critical needs every day.
What our community witnessed and experienced was real people … from the men and women on the phone working out the logistics, to the truck drivers, to the men and women who unloaded the trailer and set the supplies where those who needed them could see, and touch, and take them. What our community witnessed and experienced was:
-real people with real names who asked us our names
-real people with compassionate smiles and sometimes sympathetic tears
-real people with big hearts who always err on the side of generosity
-real people with great patience who would stand and listen to our stories and help us find what we needed
-real people who truly, with faithful intentionality, shared the love of God with those of us in need.
-What makes Gleaning for the World’s work so compelling, life changing, and, in many cases, life saving, is not, first, the efficient delivery of supplies – that efficiency is undeniable
-What makes their work so compelling, life changing, and, in many cases, life saving is the human face of it, the incarnational nature of it, – the material provision of what people need to survive wrapped in the unmistakable love of God.
It has truly been a privilege to work with and be served by these extraordinary people and this remarkable organization. Join me in expressing thanks to Gleaning for the World for sharing the love of God at home and around the world!
7539 Stage Rd
Concord, VA, 24538
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Gleaning For The World, Inc., is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible under this status.