MSM Food Pantry

We are making progress on the food pantry.  With the help of a new friend, John, and and an old friend, Aaron, we were able to finish taping the drywall, then a couple of coats of paint and the installation of some better lighting.  Our next step is to purchase some shelving then we will just about be ready to go.  The shelving is pretty spendy, so we might add just a little bit at a time.

It may not look like much, but it’s a lot to us!

We already have some food to go on the shelves though!  The local churches had a combined church service last week and asked their congregations to bring canned foods for our pantry.  Waiting to find out just how much, but whatever the amount is more than we could ask for.  We were excited that they thought of us while making these plans.

The skeletal vision that I had is starting to fill in.  “If you build it, they will come” has been a commonly repeated phrase when we have told people our vision.

Phase One: Build It

Phase Two: Fill It

Phase Three: Distribute It

Pretty simple, which is what we want to be about.  We know the Lord doesn’t want us to get ahead of ourselves either.  We need to focus on simply being in Him (He is the vine) and our ministry will bear fruit.  If we get caught up with “doing” before the foundation has been laid, we can cut ourselves off from the vine and our ministry won’t bear fruit.  It may look like we are bearing fruit, we may be “accomplishing” a lot, but we aren’t advancing His kingdom, we are simply feeding people.

What exactly does “being in Him” mean?  Slowing down.  Taking time to pray.  Being intentional with our time.  Keeping the day-to-day things in our peripheral as we focus on the deeper vision.  I was a driver’s ed teacher for a few years and one of the things we were instructed to teach was to tell students not to focus on the back of the vehicle in front of them.  Rather, you should focus a half mile ahead while keeping the car in front of you and other possible dangers in your peripheral.  The key to all of this is speed.  If you slow down enough these other dangers don’t pose a threat.  Keep the bigger vision in our sights as we slow down and listen to His voice.

As we travel this journey we want to build relationships with our neighbors in need along the way, that, ultimately, is the big vision.  Our hope is that our neighbors will know us and come to trust us before we ever try to hand them a gallon of milk.  People are much more likely to see Jesus in us than in a can of soup.

I work at a public high school

I had the opportunity to share at the school I work at, Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology (WAAST).  All together I think there were about 300+ students and 25 or so teachers.  A month or so ago I was invited by the principal to share about our journey these past few years.  She had read the article about what God had done in our lives in HomeLife Magazine and had though that our story would be good to share with the students.  I work at a public high school.

To make sure she wasn’t going to lose her job I asked to meet with her this past week so she knew what she was getting into.  I made it clear that if I was going to share about my family and I, I would be denying the most influential and important part of us if I didn’t mention Jesus Christ.  She said she was fine with that.  Again, I work at a public high school.

So this past Wednesday I got up in front of these students and shared the simple Gospel.  I told them that Serenity and I had struggled through some really tough questions the past few years.  Questions that shook the foundations of the consumeristic and materialistic life we had been living as rich Christians.  Questions that were presented to us by the Holy Spirit.  I shared about how we took these questions to the Scriptures and found that over 300 times God specifically mentions that we should treat the poor with kindness, grace and love.  That we should hold our possessions with an open hand because our treasure is in Heaven not in storehouses on this earth.  Then I shared the following scriptures:

I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. – Matthew 25:40

He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise. – Luke 3:11

Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:17

I shared about how Scriptures like these convicted us to change our lives to live lives closer to the heart of Jesus.  One that calls His disciples to care about the “least of these.”  Remember, this is a public high school.

I showed the video I had made.  Then opened it up for questions.  The questions were from the heart.  The teachers and students asked questions like, “what was the “worst” story you heard from a homeless individual?”  I told them about A.C. from Jackson and how he had been addicted to crack cocaine, but Jesus had spoken to him and he had given his life to Christ.  I told them about the local park in Boston where gang members had been killed a few weeks earlier and needed a little bit of Jesus.

The response was amazing.  About a dozen students randomly approached me over the past couple of days and asked if they could volunteer in some way for us.  About six or so students commented about the presentation on my Facebook wall.  Here is what a couple had to say:

“[the presentation] was amazing vato! Real inspiration, changed my mind about a lot of things! And your family was also very inspiring! See ya tomorrow hombre!”

“It really makes me open my eyes to how spoiled we are and take life for granted… Thanks so much for this!”

These kids so want to hear about Jesus!  I’m so excited about the doors Christ is opening to me in this “new” mission field.  I can’t shove the Gospel down their throats or ask for an alter call after they turn in their World War I homework (which isn’t my style anyway), but I can tell them about what Christ has done for me when they ask – and the kids are asking.  Praise be to God!

New MSM Video

I get the opportunity to speak about MSM at the high school I teach at on November 18th. We are very excited for this opportunity, please be praying that the Holy Spirit goes before me and opens the eyes and ears of not only the student body, but the staff as well. This is an amazing opportunity since it is a public high school! This weekend I put together a video that I will be showing the student body, check it out.

Mustard Seed Ministries

More miracles!

In memory of Brian HaischWe have recently recieved a couple donations towards the Mustard Seed Ministry food sharing pantry.  This above picture is a large load of non-perishables that were donated in memory of Brian Haisch, a childhood friend of mine who just passed a couple weeks ago.  The Haisch family decided to put the money (that would have gone to flowers for the memorial) towards food that would help others in need.  We are honored and inspired to be blessed with this.  Thank you Keith and Leo!

Tigard Community Friends ChurchAbove is yet, another food pantry donation!  Tigard Community Friends Church held a talent show and gathered many items from the attendants for a gift specifically designated to Mustard Seed Ministries.  Thank you TCFC!  We are so encouraged by the support and love you have shown our family and ministry.

Andy has also been asked to speak, on Nov. 18, at a Woodburn High School assembly!!!  He will be sharing many stories from our travels as well as the vision of ministry here in Hubbard.  This is a HUGE miracle!  God has given Andy so many amazing opportunities to be the Light of Jesus at this high school.  Please be praying for him as he prepares for this.

These are awesome testimonies of how God has shown us His favor for this new season of Mustard Seed Ministries.  With all that we have been going through (adjustment to life NOT on wheels, Andy starting a new job, having a new baby, building the food pantry, getting sick, homeschool, car/RV problems and life in general) He continues to go before us, even if we are not ready.  Before we even have shelves in the pantry, we have food to begin stocking!  Without even asking, God has provided an unusual opportunity to communicate His Good News to a huge group of high school students!

We have had some time to pray more vision for Mustard Seed Ministries.  Our next activity will be taking a flier, our kids, and the little red wagon around the neighborhood to begin spreading the word and communicating to our little town of Hubbard, that we, the Coulombe family/Mustard Seed Ministries, are available.  That can mean many things….available to share food, a listening ear, prayer, discipleship, a ride to the grocery store, etc.

Please be praying with all of us as we seek His face, live Life, and love on our neighbors.