by Sarah Jacobs, Trinity United Methodist Church
(Editors Note: Trinity UMC is A Just Harvest’s newest Community Kitchen partner. We love their enthusiasm and are grateful for the delicious pork roast they usually bring on the third Friday of every month. Sarah coordinates her church’s partnership with A Just Harvest. Sarah and her husband have two daughters ages 13 and 15, and the girls and their friends often serve with them. The following are some of Sarah’s reflections about her service at A Just Harvest’s Community Kitchen. You can see more photos of Trinity UMC members on our Facebook page.)
I have been amazed at the many times that our volunteer work at A Just Harvest has moved me. One weekend I was very busy planning an event at our church to promote A Just Harvest. We were baking cookies to decorate to sell to raise money to buy the food we donate to A Just Harvest. My nephew, Craig Rossow, a marine, was flying home that same weekend before his first deployment. I was disappointed that I could not travel to Wisconsin to see him off. That night, a Friday night around 8 pm, my sister-in-law, Craig’s mom, called me to tell me that Craig’s flight to Milwaukee had been cancelled and that he was on a flight bound for Chicago. She asked if he could stay with us and then put him on a train to Milwaukee on Saturday morning. I believe that God wanted me to know that he supported our great works with A Just Harvest and he brought my nephew to me so I could see him before he left. (February 2011)
We were at A Just Harvest on a Friday in May. While making the rounds to serve the patrons their choice of milk, water or coffee, a beautiful young girl around 8 years of age, looked me in the eye and with a smile on her face asked, “Hello, Sarah, may I have a glass of milk please?” Her eyes sparkled and her smile was so uplifting. I told her she just made my day. She thanked me and I thanked her for the opportunity to serve. (May 2012)
We can never know the true impact that we have on those that we feed. I was sharing my journey of becoming a partner church with A Just Harvest with a local business owner in Wilmette. He told me that he used to eat at A Just Harvest when he was a child living at the Jonquil Apartments around the corner.
I never worry about finding enough volunteers to serve dinner with us on a Friday night at A Just Harvest. You only need to experience it once to know what a special place it is. Volunteers reach out to me and they invite friends and family to join them. On the day we are to serve, someone will call to say they cannot come and within the hour, another person will call and ask if we are serving tonight and could they join us. God takes care of it, he always does.
I had just finished shopping for the food for A Just Harvest. It was a cloudy, dreary, overcast day. When I pulled into the parking area behind the kitchen to deliver the food, the clouds parted and the sunrays beamed onto us as we unloaded. I know God is pleased with what we are doing and he offers encouragement whenever he can.