When you think about words that are exciting and adventurous (two really cool words, at least to me), you don’t think about words like faithful and steady, right? Those words don’t seem to go together.
However, it’s the steady journey that has connected us to one of the most significant relationships we have...the one we have with the Tyson family and 180 Degree Farm. Here’s how it all started. A handful of people looked around Newnan, realized that there were people in need, and decided to do something about it. While volunteering at a local foster home, the Director of the home pulled me aside and asked if we could do something with the very large bags of leftover bread they received each week from a local bakey/coffee shop. So, we looked around again and noticed large groups of people who did not have money to buy food. We saw the elderly, the disabled, and the poor. So, we said yes. In those days, it was just 3-4 guys with a bunch of donated, day-old bread in the back of a pickup truck. We would get the bags of bread every Tuesday and randomly drive around the sections of Newnan where we knew the need was great. We tossed bread out of the back of the truck like we were throwing candy out of the back of a parade float. We did that every Tuesday...rain or shine...for months...steady and faithful.
Then, one day Alison Wallace from Bridging the Gap called to say that they had access to food that was still very good but not able to be sold in the store. They had meats, eggs, fruit, vegetables, and other things. They said it would be available on Tuesdays and it was a truckload of food. So, we just added it to the donated bread. The more food we received, the more volunteers showed up to help. Other places started donating food and we just kept getting it out to those in need...every Tuesday...steady and faithful.
Throughout all of this we developed a strong desire to lessen the amount of cheap, processed food we give to people and increase the amount of local, healthy food. That’s when we had a farmer friend connect us to the Tysons and 180 Degree Farm. Part of the Tyson’s vision is to take a portion of what is harvested and invest it back into the community to help feed those who need it the most. Each week we receive some type of fresh food from 180 Degree Farm and we give it away. In fact, as we take out truckloads of food each week that gets donated from many places, the freshest, healthiest, life-giving food those people will eat each week comes from 180 Degree Farm. If I really want to bless someone when we deliver the food each week, I reach first for something from 180 Degree Farm.
Today, we gather at 15 Perry Street in downtown Newnan every Tuesday at 10:30 AM. Many volunteers show up and we sort the food. Then together, we take the food directly to over 100 families in need. In fact, we now have people in need helping us get the food to other people in need. It’s all about everyone doing their part...steady and faithful.
It was the faithful, steady journey that brought us to 180 Degree Farm...and then, in turn, what brings 180’s life-giving food to the neediest in our community. You know what’s awesome though? The steady and faithful journey has given us some of the most exciting and adventurous experiences we’ve ever had. All four words can co-exist!
So, I can’t help but think about you...and me. Where is it in our lives where we need to stay faithful and steady? Today's and tomorrow’s blessings and breakthroughs come only from yesterday’s steadiness and faithfulness.
Browns Mill Church in Newnan. Tim is the Lead pastor and is commited, with his family and volunteers, to serve the poor and those in need the way Jesus calls us to do.
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'