This is has been a crazy past week, and even though my job ended last week, I want to share a highlight from my position as Farm 2 Food Pantry Coordinator that very few people know about– but I think everyone should! Because the example of Christ truly shines in these people and have impacted my life greatly.
The highlight of my job was definitely going to the Bares twice a week. Dave and Ruth Bare are our program’s largest produce donator— donating over 17,000 lbs out of 21,000 of produce this season to hungry families in Northeast Washington.
When I first met them, I asked Dave why they started such a big garden. Without hesitation, he answered, “ministry.” What truly illuminates from them is not pride or satisfaction— I mean, there is a reward in such hard work— but they glow of such giving love and a “how can we do more next year?” even though Dave is a full-time doctor and Ruth just had a knee surgery.
Every time I arrived at “Agape Acres,” Dave, his granddaughter (who we hired on contract to help glean), and two other ladies from their church were there with cheerful hearts + hundreds of pounds of produce for me to take to food pantries.
Last week I had a wonderful dinner with the Bares, and the very first thing that Ruth did was give me a huge hug, thanked me for my work, and asked me all about my plans for school, work, life, etc. I literally felt like I was with family. Among sharing food and laughing over Dave and Ruth’s cute badgering of each other, we talking about next year’s plan, and how we could improve the program. Listening to Ruth talk with such passion about feeding the hungry, our discussion got quite emotional and it was so amazing to see how much these two people care. Like, REALLY care. About people they don’t know or even come in contact with. They just give in faith and trust the rest to God.
As we were leaving, Ruth gave me what seemed the 5th bear hug and thanked me again. To my surprise, she told me that her granddaughter really appreciated my friendship and was so encouraged to have worked under my supervision. Entering this position, I didn’t think I would work with such kind and loving people, or be able influence others just by doing my job. Leaving the program, I have a much bigger desire to give in faith with my own life.
I’ve also learned how much we can impact if we just do our job– by “doing” the love of God in every area of our life. Everyday we need to remind ourselves to work for the kingdom– and not for the paycheck.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”