Bridging the Gap
Fellowship has decided to allocate 100% of its food ministry resources to the Bridging the Gap (BTG) initiative effective February 1st. In a nutshell, BTG is a food pantry on wheels. Instead of having community members come to our location for food, BTG coordinates our congregation to deliver food to neighborhood families with food needs.
The 2011 Beyond ABC annual report by Children’s Medical Center found that an alarming 29% of the children living in Dallas county live in hunger and poverty.
What Fellowship staff does:
- Interview and qualify families who will be receiving food. Qualifications include having a food need, children in home, English fluency and a 1 year commitment.
- Coordinates pick up of bags of food at Fellowship Food Pantry on Sundays.
- Introduces and coaches families and community groups who are delivering.
What you do:
- Commit to delivering food to a family in our adjacent Vickery Meadow neighborhood for 6 months on a weekly or every other week basis (this can be done in partnership with others).
- Pick up food bags on Sundays at Fellowship Food Pantry.
- Deliver food weekly or every other week.
- Pray for the receiving family.
- Pursue a relationship with the receiving family which may include calling them periodically and inviting them to your home eventually as trust develops.
Interview with Jenny Barham, wife, mother and BTG food deliverer
Tell me how you got involved in BTG and what you have experienced through it?
"We heard about BTG and thought it would be ideal for our family to serve together. We liked the dynamic of family to family relationship. When we began, we had tons of “What if” questions, but we felt like most of them were not up to us to answer. We felt like we needed to trust God with those unanswered questions.
We were assigned to a single mom with 5 boys. At first, we felt a distance between us but that has changed a little over time. We have been serving them for about a year now. We have been to their home and they have been to ours.
We have consistently asked the mother, “How can we pray for you?” She has been receptive but we have not broached where she is spiritually because we do not want her to think that our relationship is conditional upon her being receptive to Jesus. She comes to church when she is not working."
How has your experience with BTG affected you spiritually?
"We feel like we have done something and God showed up. We felt some uneasiness about getting started and unanswered questions, but we trusted that He can handle it all and He has! This experience has increased our faith as we have seen God work.
It has been also interesting for us to see how carefree our kids have been about the experience. I think they feel like we, their parents, are in control. We have thought that this is how we should act since our heavenly Father is really in control.
For our kids, it has been good because it has forced them to be inconvenienced. But it has gone way beyond that. Charlie, our 6-year old son, has begun to grasp that we are to be vessels of God’s love. We pray before we visit with our families, and Charlie, our 6-year old son, often prays, “Help our new friends feel Your love through us.”
Any other ways to participate?
YES. Be a food bag filler. At the food pantry or welcome desk, you can pick up an empty box with a list of items you can buy and return to Fellowship.