World Challenge’s partners on the Emerald Isle are working to help the children of low income families have a warm meal as they learn more about their true Savior.
In September, I was in prayer about what direction to take for Feed Cork, whether to develop a social enterprise to help fund our efforts or to grow our community outreach.
After a good amount of prayer and deliberation God put it on my heart to develop the After School Fuel Program further. This program works with local DEIS schools, schools that are low income and help children by providing food during the morning and lunch. We have adopted two schools to launch the program in, and God revived this vision in my heart to reach local families with this program and share the gospel through it.
I met with my team and told them that to reach families through the schools is what God had put on my heart to do. I told them that day how strongly I felt from the Lord that we should move towards developing and building out this ministry. The plan would be to deliver a weekend supply of nutritious, ready-made meals for children to selected families.
For an entire school term, we would be able to call to homes each week and develop relationships with families, loving on them, and sharing with them.
The Swift Move of God’s Hand
I went straight up and shared this plan with the Senior Pastor, and after some deliberation, we both agreed that we would take the next few months as a test period to see if we would draw the funding. We agreed that if we hadn’t received any substantial backing locally by January, we would only commit to a small-scale, limited approach. Within 15 minutes of discussing this prospect and planning to start, our volunteer coordinator, Sharon, received a phone call. While she was on the call, she started weeping. I thought someone had died...
She came back into our meeting and said, “You will never believe who that was. It was Ciaran from Brook Foods. He said he was meeting with five of his business associates who live in and are from the area we would be reaching. He wants to partner with us and develop a sustainable school food program. He wants to help us provide ready-made meals to children on the weekend.”
Sharon had been blown away as he was repeating to her everything I had said that morning. This business owner and his cohort of successful businessmen want to develop a sustainable program and they want no recognition, only to give back to their community.
Needless to say, we were all in tears as God’s hand was so evident. It was such a witness to our team that God was directing us.
God’s Incredible, Unexpected Blessing
In less than 20 minutes, we had some very successful, local businesses pledging their help and support in building this new program which has the potential to reach thousands for Christ.
We have a total of 25 of these schools, and we have been invited to help poor children in all of them by the Head School Liason Officer. It is a huge door. The potential for this outreach is amazing, and if we develop it here, it can grow and be duplicated by churches around Ireland.
Ciaran and his team are committed to help us develop this program from beginning to end. He runs the largest catering company in Ireland, operating numerous cafeterias in big corporations like Pfizer, Johnson Controls and many other Irish organizations as well. He knows we are born again Christians and loves the idea that we are doing this. He has committed to helping us fund raise through his contacts, and he is donating a full commercial kitchen that will be installed in the church over the next couple of months.
We couldn’t have asked for a better partner. This was a divine intervention in God directing and providing for our next venture in Feed Cork.