Stone Soup- June 26

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Stone Soup Friends,

Praise God for those we served Sunday June 26th and may we pray that God continues to work in their lives and ours.

Thank You to those who served from core volunteers, the Young Adult SS Class and 1st Timers such as Hope, Wayne & Annmarie.  It’s such a blessing to God to work with those who serve time & time again as well as those Asbury friends who hear and feel God’s calling to help on any given Mission Sunday.  As I put out notes like this I wish I had everyone’s contact details so I can say thank you.  God knows them and knows what they do.

June 26th was a Hot Sunday capping off a week of blistering days.  We learned the cities ‘cooling centers’ were open only Mon-Sat.  Thank you Asbury and volunteers who brought cases and cases of water so all who left could take all they wanted with them.

I don’t like to single out individuals too much, however sometimes the story needs it or the reader can read between the lines.  The Mission loves it when a pastor comes to help.  We set a speed record for the early call out on the day of, “Greg, where is your medical kit?”  Greg doesn’t enjoy that question.  Pastors and knives.

We opened earlier than our usual because of the weather.  When I asked for a leader for the Living Water Ministry, Ben Cogbill was immediately there.  With prayerful thanks and ongoing smiles, it was so great to have Ben step up out of youth to lead this section of the Ministry for this day.  Ben has been working Stone Soup since he turned 8 years old (and Hope joined us for the 1st time today – continuing the Cogbill family tradition).

Annmarie too joined us for the 1st time as a youth today.  My heart was warmed as she wanted us to use a bag of change she had saved for whatever was needed to help others.

You know one way for the hall to feel so cool on a hot summer day?  Work in the kitchen.  God bless fans.  Hydrate workers hydrate!  Our menu changed – finally – to Tuna Salad and fixins.  Still a lot of chopping and blending to do, but was nice to not have to fire up the ovens.

Thank you MUCH volunteers who loaded us up with watermelons, cantaloupes, bananas and apples!  We were able to fill -2- initial plates per person + keep a fruit delivery rolling to all in the hall.

Boy was everyone thirsty!!!  And for the 1st time in my memory – we had NO cups!!  Thank you for the cup run which got us going.  The hall was hopping around the drink table this service.  And oh yes – thank you volunteers for the bags of Ice.  Much needed.

Asbury provided something very special – very special to all who came this mission service.  Never have we been able to provide Hygiene kits to All .  This was an inspired vision from our pastors and thanks to all who stuffed hygiene gallon zip locks on our day of service.  Even grumpy or stoic attendees gave huge smiles when presented with these gifts.   Asbury has given in the past – thank you – but the response was very special today and out of proportion to what I had expected.

It rained briefly while we served!  We never would have known but people started coming in looking wetter than just sweat.  Now you could hardly tell it when we finished, but it did give a small temperature drop.

Shortly after we started serving, I remember remarking to the team that looks like a smaller crowd than normal.  We had heard a group was having a cookout.  Well………. So I was wrong.  They kept coming and coming in waves to get back up to an Asbury normal.  I’ll say this for this group of Asbury volunteers.  They were much LESS messy in making PBJ sandwiches that the last volunteer group.  And they made just as many too!

So we fed a lot.  Smiled a lot.  Saw the Lord work with many.  Felt the Lord work with us.  Got a little sweaty, felt happy-sad-uplifted.  Sent folks out with water, sandwiches, fruit, hygiene kits.  Served 118 of God’s flock.

You are all amazing.  God truly inspires you.  And you inspire me.

God Bless You,

Greg Stansell

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