What a time we had last week. It was the annual back pack give away to our families in need. Cheryl Birch Ministries with Bless The Kids had brought 83 back packs the week before. AVC had also committed to supplying 10 additional back packs, so the office was filled to overflowing! We organized them for families we had on our list and started calling them with the good news that they would be coming to them before school started. Some were able to come to the office and pick them up, but most needed them to be delivered. That is when the fun began!! There were squeals of delight by the young kids, and many of the older kids showed a lot of excitement too!
There were a few stand out moments along the way. Beverly headed out to one of our families in Hughson. She had been delayed about 10 minutes in getting there. The kids, including some teenagers, were home alone. One of the kids was on the phone with his mom when Beverly arrived. Apparently she had locked her keys in the car while shopping in Ceres. Beverly said that was right by her house, and she could bring a spare set of keys to her! Talk about timing!! Had Beverly not been stopped by the train, she would have been there and gone before the call came from the mom! What a great opportunity to minister in even a more significant way. God surely will use delays to pour out blessings to others. Beverly was so excited that she called me from the road to tell me! Such encouragement.
Chris, his son Josh and a ministry friend named Bob were able take quite a few of the remaining backpacks out on Wednesday afternoon. They were thrilled to be able to help again this year. Chris told me that a family was now attending his church as a result of back packs they delivered to them last year!
I received an email from Cheryl late Thursday afternoon stating that there would be an additional 14 back packs available to us for elementary school kids. I was so excited to get that news! We had a number of families who had requested some after our list was full. We had entered the needs in our data base, so they would be easy access. Just before Cheryl came to deliver the backpacks, she received a call from a mom who sounded desperate for some for her kids. Cheryl gave her our contact info here at AVC. She came within the hour with three very excited kids!
I am happy to report that we were able to meet each one of those needs with an extra to spare! Several of the moms said that it was a miracle to get the back packs on Friday. School was starting on Monday. It might be a little cliché to add “God is seldom early, and never late!!” We say “Thank you Jesus” for the miracle in meeting needs of kids in our community in a very practical way. The total number of backpacks given this year to AVC families was 107.
We also had another partner in the back pack project! Rose’s daughter Bevy donated a tithe to AVC for backpacks. She (and her family) had produced a play that Bevy and her friends performed in their neighborhood park. It was a fund raiser to help do some renovations for the playground. Bevy came to the office to personally give me the check! Thank you so much to the Bird family for your wonderful gift.
It surely was an amazing week! Blessings to all of you.