3There has been an exciting development in the last weeks. Bethel Church has become one of Edmonton’s twenty-three WECAN food basket distribution depots. This is going to greatly help needy families in our area, and our participation in the program has had a surprising impact on the community partners with whom we serve in the Bannerman neighbourhood.
WECAN is an innovative program that makes food affordable for families in need. Here is how it works: Participating low-income families buy a food basket each month. The food can be affordably priced because participants pay in advance, allowing their money to be pooled. Food is purchased in bulk, thus lowering the cost. Our church’s role is to receive people’s payments, then, on the designated day of the month, bring the people’s food baskets to the church to be distributed.
Our involvement in this program has touched some hearts among our Bannerman partners. Grace Craig, one of our deacons, was at a local Clareview Community Builders Association meeting when the news of our participation was shared. The 30 or so delegates present broke into applause upon hearing the news, and one person, leaned over to Grace and said, “Your church is something else. I think it is just wonderful.” What an unexpected and welcome compliment!
When I heard this news I thought of a verse:
“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47).
We should never live for the favor of people, but people’s favor can be an indication that we are obeying Jesus’ command: “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). May God use this “favor” to draw people to Himself through Jesus Christ!
Richard Vriend is coordinating the program on behalf of the deacons. He is being helped by several people in the church. The first distribution will take place May 20.
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