USA (MNN) — It's Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It's a holiday focused on thanking God for His blessings, a time of gathering with family and friends–typically around a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Unfortunately, that won't be the case for many families around the country today. The global recession has hit families hard, and as the economy gets worse, numbers increase. 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year in the United States.
This year the recession means there are more families in need. Today, homeless and the poor will be heading to homeless shelters and missions to get a holiday meal and Christ's love.
Mel Trotter Ministries, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is just one inner city ministry that will be hosting a dinner today. President of Mel Trotter, Chico Daniels, says, "We're looking to feed over 2,000 on Thanksgiving Day. We're going to feed them like kings and queens."
They're doing this despite a very difficult year. "Actually we're down in our giving, as much as 36 percent," Daniels says. "It's kind of a roller coaster ride right now. We've had to do some downsizing. And so, we have staff [who] are wearing multiple hats. Just pray that the staff wouldn't get burned out during the holiday season."
Hundreds of Christians from the community will help feed those in need, not only in Grand Rapids, but around the country. Pray that as they break away from their families, their testimonies will shine bright for all to see their love for Christ.
Daniels says as Christmas approaches, the needs will only increase. "We are always in need of donations of food this time of the year when the holiday expectations are very high. We don't like to see people go hungry during the holiday season. So we're asking people to remember Mel Trotter in terms of food donations."
The needs in the community are great all year long, says Daniels. "We're serving about 4,000 hot meals a week. About 130 to 140 families from the community at large are coming for weekly food boxes."
Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States. Many more families are now surviving on single incomes , unemployment checks, or their unemployment has run out. Despite the difficulties, Daniels is praising God. "Through the worst of the recession this year, when we were despairing, God came through and encouraged us and strengthened us. And I think we're back. And we're stronger and better for going through it."
There are many inner city ministries around the country who need support. Here's Life Inner City, Mel Trotter, and other Rescue Missions lack not only resources, but volunteers. Make it a priority in your church to help these agencies.
If you'd like to help Mel Trotter Ministries, click here.