South Tampa Fellowship took a turn sharing meals with folks living on the fringes of the Tampa community. Amazing Love Ministries is located in a great place near our city to facilitate these gatherings.
As I took in the scene I made some observations that convinced me the value of this ministry. It had very little to do with the food that was being shared. I did not see anyone who was suffering the effects of starvation. In all my years in this great country I have never seen anyone, other than a few tragic figures intentionally starving themselves, who were not generally at least ten pounds over weight God bless us.
The blessing I witnessed was that of family. So many of the people who were there to be served were enjoying one another's company in an environment where they were unconditionally loved and held accountable.
I met Jim Killeen who I found to be gracious and humble. He is quick to point out that God is the organizer of the proceedings and you are viewing the image above only because I pressed him to let me snap it. Reminds me of a favorite quote.
Thousands that are capable of great sacrifices are yet not capable of the little ones which are all that are required of them. God seems to take pleasure in working by degrees; the progress of the truth is as the permeation of leaven, or the growth of a seed: a multitude of successive small sacrifices may work more good in the world than many a large one. What would even our Lord's death on the cross have been, except as the crown of a life in which he died daily, giving himself, soul, body and spirit, to his men and women? It is the Being that is the precious thing. Being is the mother to all little Doings as well as the grown-up Deeds and the mighty heroic Sacrifice; and these little Doings, like the good children of the house, make the bliss of it.
George Macdonald from WEIGHED AND WANTING
Anyone one of the souls I saw this day could easily do without the meal they received but just like you and I, to spend another moment without knowing the creator and lover of our soul is to continue to live in the waste land of sin and death. As these outcasts and ne'er do wells sat and filled their bellies with food they needed only to stand in line to receive, the Holy Spirit was at work seeking any who were willing to receive the living water and the bread of life. It was a privilege to be present.
Jesus had an abundant life for us:Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
On this evening I saw a ministry not of hirelings but of humble servants. There can be no doubt that God uses this gathering to bring new people into His fold every day!
2801 North 17th Street
Ybor City, FL 33605