“When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord — and He pays wonderful interest on your loan!”
— Proverbs 19:17 TLB
BY CRYSTAL PUGSLEY
OF THE PLAINSMAN
The first annual food giveaway hosted by Huron Church of the Open Bible was a great success, said the pastor.
“God gave me the name ‘Hands Up’ for the food distribution branch of our ministry,” said the Rev. Dean Lindstad. “The name typifies, first of all, worship to our God and a hand up to our fellow man.”
Lindstad said he learned about food giveaways after a church in Sioux Falls began the outreach in 2003.
Lindstad said he had been praying about doing something similar in Huron when he met Susanne Hofer, a new member of his congregation who operates S&E Distributing, a food warehouse business just east of Huron.
“I talked to her about the possibility of doing a food giveaway. Having such a heart for the poor, she also got excited. God began to move.”
Lindstad said she brought one of her food suppliers to the church to meet him in early September.
“Scott Henze, a new believer who owned a cereal distribution business in Dumont, Iowa, asked if I would like two semi-loads of food to give away,” Lindstad said. “He explained he had a friend, Woody Stiltner from the Chicago area, who had a ministry called Hands of Hope of Illinois that did food giveaway events in 12 states. They were selecting Huron Church of the Open Bible for a giveaway on Oct. 27. The food was completely free without any conditions.”
Early that Saturday morning on Oct. 27, Lindstad said about 40 volunteers braved the cold weather to bag tomatoes, unload semitrailers, direct traffic, load cars with food, give away literature and pray for people.
“Cars lined the service road for a mile in each direction from our church two hours before the 10 a.m. start time,” Lindstad said. “Prayer requests were collected as cars waited in line and Bibles and gospel tracts were distributed in three languages.”
The drive-through event lasted more than five hours, yet people were still coming up to two hours after the event concluded.
“Every person was prayed for before they received food and as they exited the parking lot,” Lindstad said. “Many tears were shed as God met the needs of people.
“Three people accepted God’s gift of salvation. I was especially touched when a woman asked for prayer who had MS. After the prayer she said she had felt something surge through her body. I explained that it was the power of God and God was revealing Himself to her. I was also able to pray with a family who had lost their 16-year old child in a car accident just a couple weeks before.”
Two semi-trailers with more than 1,000 boxes of food, plus 12,000 cans of tomatoes, were given away to more than 1,500 people. The leftover 6,000 cans of tomatoes were donated to Sunshine Bible Academy, United Way for their school backpack program and the Salvation Army.
“That Sunday we had a celebration service with some new faces that had been invited the previous day,” Lindstad said. “It was one of the best attended services of the year as people were excited not only to go to church, but to ‘be’ the church.”
For the complete article see the 11-03-2012 issue.
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