USA (MNN) — A simple
trip to Pennsylvania can make a difference for the Kingdom of God. That's what Brooks Corners United Methodist
Church of Sears, Michigan, did when it sent 18 people to the Global Aid Network
distribution center in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.
Team member Joyce Henry said the
group included 5 teenagers and a number of retired people, and they helped with a wide variety of tasks at
the center. Some helped sort clothes by
size, checking whether each item was in good repair. Some of the ladies knitted and crocheted items
such as blankets for orphanages, while others made Gospel aprons and bracelets
based on the wordless book.
"By the thousands they do those
[aprons and bracelets] and give them out as a witness. So it is humanitarian aid, but with a witness,"
The group also packed food to
feed starving people.
"Our favorite thing was being able to help the group brought in from Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)," Henry said. "They are out to try to reduce the number of
starving children around the world. 18,000
people a day die of starvation!"
GAiN USA is partnering with FMSC to send
nutritious meals to starving people. Volunteers
at the distribution center put together a nutritional mix developed with the
input of scientists from major food companies in the Twin Cities area: rice, soy nuggets, vitamins, minerals, a
vegetarian chicken flavoring, and dehydrated vegetables.
Henry said about 75 people helped
"fill plastic bags with a particular food that's been engineered to be highly
nutritious and just what you need to survive," she explained. "We did an assembly line, and for an
hour and a half or two hours we did this. Each person dipped something into the bag; then it
was sealed, weighed, and packaged and ready to go."
Thankfully many people have signed up to
pack meals for GAiN USA, and no more help is needed in the month of June. But Brook Corners United Methodist is already
excited to help with the project again in the future.
"That was so rewarding that we
want to do it again," Henry said. "They
have a place in Aurora, Illinois, and two in the Minneapolis area that you can
go to and work…. Chicago would be a little closer for us than going clear to
Henry encourages other people to
help at the center, saying there's something for everyone to do.
"What I liked about Global Aid
Network was that there were jobs for everyone. If you were unable to walk or stand on your feet, there were sit-down
jobs that you could do–a great many things that you could do for the Lord and to
be helpful. It doesn't always take a lot of money; you just need to get there and use
your hands for the Lord," she said.
"There are just all kinds of
opportunities out there, incredible ways to serve the Lord," Henry continued. "We're retired, long retired, and still feel
that we're useful to the Lord. It's just so rewarding. People are hurting around the world, and we
get to be of help to them."