Talk about your loaves and fishes…

Our small group within our larger Adult Bible Fellowship (formerly known as Sunday School Class) was responsible for providing the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House this past Saturday evening. I was not sure how the organization of this meal was going when the group leader mentioned that we had very few people in our group and several of those were out of town. I volunteered to make two desserts. No problem. On Friday, I decided to try the Brownie Cookie recipe I’d pinned from Pinterest, but I’d also make the old stand-by Jello Poke Cake on Saturday morning, just in case.

That finished, Saint and I were off to lunch with family; my niece and her husband were bringing their incredibly handsome and well- mannered, two month old son, Owen. (See Oh, Baby earlier post) What fun!

Caller ID alerted me to a call from Pat, the leader of our small group at about 3:30. She explained that she had an infection in her leg and could hardly walk, but had made the casseroles and had bread ready to take over to the RM House. That, in itself, was a chore for an 83 year old, and she certainly would not be able to stay and help serve.  She also told me that no other members of our small group would be available to participate, but we could count on Tom and Sue, our wonderfully mission-minded couple who always help at the House.

Now, I’m definitely the Martha. I want all the lists made and checked twice, no surprises, please, and plenty of food. Always plenty of food. At the Ronald McDonald House, you never know how many to expect for dinner. Some of the guests will remain at the hospital with their loved ones, others will wander in at different times, but the meal is to be ready by 6:30. Yikes! A casserole, bread, and dessert did not seem sufficient to me. Sue assured me that she would bring either a salad or a vegetable.

 The staffer on duty at the House told me the place was packed…12 families. He looked skeptically at the scant amount of food. Saint told him he would be happy to run over to KFC and get a bucket of chicken if we needed it. The staffer suggested waiting to see how many guests showed up, and then he went about his duties in his office as we emptied dishwashers, set the table, and filled glasses with ice.

We were visiting with a young girl whose baby was born 9 weeks before term and would have to remain in NICU until her due date when Staffer came in and announced, “You won’t believe this, but we just got a call from KFC. They have some chicken left over from a banquet and will donate it if we have someone to pick it up. It just also happens that a volunteer showed up to help organize the cabinets, and she has a van. She’s on her way now to pick it up.”

Saint smiled grinned from ear to ear. “God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he?”

Tom and Sue arrived, we set out the food we had, prayed over it and for the families and patients, and went on with the meal. The chicken lady arrived and announced that she would need the guys to help bring in the chicken. Hmmmm. I’m not the strongest fiber in the sheet, but I can lift a bucket of chicken without help. Nevertheless, both Saint and Tom went out with her and returned…each carrying three huge foil banquet pans. We scrambled trying to find counter space just in time for them to bring in another round. All in all, there must have been ten pans of grilled chicken, 3 pans of green beans, and two filled with coleslaw.

Guests began to line up to add a chicken breast to their plates. We stood amazed in His Presence. For a few seconds. Then we set about trying to figure out what to do with it all. Chicken Lady rounded up gallon sized Baggies as God sent in reinforcements in the form of two energetic high school kids looking to earn service hours and a mom chaperone. As Sue, the Mary of the group, visited with the families and listed their prayer needs to take back to our prayer warriors, the rest of us set up a make-shift highly efficient assembly line to bag better pieces and debone others for use in casseroles and pot pies.

We finished the evening with tons a lot of chicken in the freezers, a lot of grease to clean off the handles of the refrigerator, several food gloves and aluminum pans to dispose of, and thankful hearts. I’m just sayin’, “If you pray for God’s provision, you’d better have Baggies!”