We celebrated our 18th birthday in July! I can’t believe it’s been nearly two decades since I left the pastoral ministry and started Gleaning For The World. I will never forget how scared I was when I left the safety of the church to venture out to start a small non-profit organization that would help hurting families in Central Virginia. We expected to distribute one or two tractor-trailer loads of supplies each year and have some time to relax and take it easy. God had other ideas.
In the first six months we were open, we shipped 27 tractor-trailer loads of supplies and during the next twelve months we shipped another 72. In the first 18 months of operation, we placed supplies in North Korea, China, El Salvador and several other countries. I did not even know where most of these were on a map!
We received requests from missions groups and the very supplies they needed showed up in our warehouse. That was when I knew I was on the greatest faith journey I would ever experience.
I used to say we were always broke, but God reminded me that every bill was paid and every staff member was paid. Now, I say we were “cash deficient” because God was never late and He was always sufficient. Even when we worked with volunteers to load tractor-trailers with flashlights late at night, God provided the people and opportunities to reach those who suffered.
I learned fast that God loves all His children. Some were in communist countries and we still were able to share the Gospel. Some were hungry, some were sick without funds for medical care, and others just needed some hope that their children would have a better life because Christians cared.
I will never forget the call from a Muslim man in Iraq that told me I was his enemy because I was a Christian. After we worked to restock the University of Baghdad Hospital together, we became fast friends. I don’t know if he ever converted to Christ, but I did share truth in love. God provided the opportunity and I walked through the door.
I will also never forget the telephone call I received at a local business where we were using some warehouse space. Harvey Hamilton was on the other end of the line asking me to sort and box-up two tractor-trailer loads of clothing in just three days. (Hurricane Michael had torn up El Salvador and Honduras, and supplies were desperately needed.) I only had one staff member and a few volunteers, but I agreed to do it. The two loads quickly turned into twelve loads, and we were given just five days to sort and ship. It was the equivalent of moving the contents of 12 average-size homes in just one week!
Harvey showed me a picture of a young boy with sores all over him. The boy had to hang in a tree while the floodwaters beat him against the bark. Meanwhile, there was an elderly lady in the picture sitting beside the boy. Harvey shared with me that she had lost her husband and three children so she adopted the boy who had lost his entire family. I knew we had to work around the clock and we did.
We have reached tens of millions of people since then and helped missionaries reach hundreds of thousands of people with the Gospel.
Because of you and your commitment to Gleaning For The World, we provided help this year to families in Dallas and Newington, TX who were impacted by tornadoes. We have reached people in Louisiana and Virginia after tornadoes, and now thousands in West Virginia from the Thousand-Year Flood. We have shipped materials to ten foreign countries this year, creating jobs and treating the poor who suffer.
In 2015, we shipped 121 tractor-trailer loads around the globe. In the first half of 2016, we have already shipped 135! We are operating at a record pace because the needs are so great. I am praying that God will use us in amazing ways during the final months of this year so that He will receive all the glory.
Thank you for helping me live out this dream of being the hands and feet of God as we care for the poor. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to see people receive supplies who are suffering from horrible loss. I also find it hard to verbally express how much you mean to me as we work to triple the amount of supplies we send each year and as we strive to reach more people during their greatest need.
Your financial gifts have and are changing the lives of the poor and those who are getting back on their feet after natural disasters. Never underestimate the importance of every dollar in changing a life.
You are the hero. I am just a servant utilizing your generosity to reach the poor for you…. and for God!!
I look forward to hearing from you this month. Every dollar you send provides hope to the hopeless!
For your gift of any amount this month, I will send you a special 50-page booklet called “I’m A Prepper!” It will give you practical, step-by-step tools to prepare your family in the case of a natural or man-made disaster.
Our team has put this booklet together based on years of experience working with families affected by the unexpected disasters. Get this booklet! You’ll be glad you were prepared!