FHL had another Kindness Day recently – a day to just be kind with others. This latest outreach was held on September 10th, 2016. Two groups of volunteers from IUPUI assisted FHL at two locations, one group met to organize and clean the FHL warehouse and the other group assisted in a Neighborhood clean up at the Butler-Tarkington area.
September 15, 2016
FHLKindness Day: IUPUI Volunteers Help FHL Warehouse Clean Up
When: September 8, 2016 @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Where: Martin Luther King Community Center, 40 W 40th St, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA
Monthly Missional Food Pantry & Training Classes will be held in the lower level of the Martin Luther King Community Center, 40 West 40th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208. The Food Pantry is open to the public from 1:30pm to 3:00pm monthly on the 2nd Thursday.
Purpose: Training of food pantries volunteers and staff to show how to serve with missional hearts.
To volunteer: and for more information contact Merlin Gonzales at (317) 572-5793
August 30, 2016
FHLMonthly Schedule: Missional Food Pantry & Training Center
“I can’t wait for next year!“, exclaimed one of the FHL Week volunteers.
I remember in the end of summer 2006 (10 years ago), several people told me that they had such a great experience during FHL Week, they couldn’t wait for the following year. These conversations stuck in my mind!
One day the Lord put it on my heart to provide food for those in need. Soon, I found myself organizing mobile food pantries at parking lots, schools, churches and other community organizations. After a few years, this outreach evolved to become the main focus of FHL – it was birthed out of the mission week.
History repeats itself. After the 2016 FHL Week, many volunteers are taking initiatives to serve continuously. For example, the same soup kitchen clients who cooked for the volunteers at 25th St. Baptist are now planning to do the same in September at Barnes UMC. On Thursday, August 25, several people are coming together at Northwood Christian Church located at 4550 N. College Ave. at 4pm to share stories that happened during last month’s mission week.
Yesterday, a volunteer and I stopped by a local breakfast restaurant after picking up more than $1,400 worth of produce. As we were about to eat, it seemed like God said to give fruits to the customers. In obedience, I handed fruits to a woman waiting for her food. I asked her if she has any prayer request. She shared with me that she needs wisdom for the next stage of her life. After giving produce to three more customers, we handed some to the employees and prayed for one of them. This employee has been anxious about their safety in the neighborhood. We prayed for their protections and that God would change the hearts of the people.
The story above is an example that God provides us opportunities to serve our neighborhoods. I think God is saying to us just to keep our eyes and hearts open and just “do it!”
Outreach is not just something to check on your “To Do List”. It’s not something you have to do but something that you do out of love and compassion to others. What does it mean to you to love others without restrictions or any preconceived plan to change them…just to bring the absolute love of God? – not loving with a purpose but loving unconditionally.
Missions are not something that you schedule for a week (although that’s needed) and then go back to “regular programming”; its something that becomes a part of your regular mode of living. So if “you can’t wait for next year“, you can start right now right where you are because missions is not an event, it’s a lifestyle.
Our goal is to put a warehouse schedule together. God provided regular volunteers that collaborated together this past week to help FHL as it grows towards greater distribution of food to those in need. We are currently distributing to eight pantry and soup kitchens. Eight means new beginnings!
This past Thursday, the 11th, at 12:30pm was another milestone for FHL!
To supplement the current Food Pantry Training Program, we added an actual food pantry for experiential training. The public was invited to the Ribbon Cutting for the FHL Training Pantry.
We were so excited to launch this one-of-a-kind Training Pantry. The pantry will be open to serve the public every 2nd Thursday of the month (1pm-1:30pm for the seniors, then 1:30pm-3pm for the public) and the pantry trainees will be involved in serving them as a part of their training.
Opening of the new Community Training Food Pantry here at MLK Center and Prayer Warrior Team. (8.11.16)
Through your prayers and continued support, FHL is paving the way to redefine the deeper role of a food pantry in our community. We were glad to see many of you this past Thursday to help us witness a new thing; “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19
In addition to all of the storage units for our food pantry training center, a prayer team for training was created as well. Officially, we became Faith Hope and Love’s new food pantry training center with a prayer team. We had a preparation party and prayer launching. Prayer warriors and volunteers are now ready to go!
Ribbon cutting ceremony for food pantry at MLK Center
FHL Week is about a week of faith-based outreaches in the Indianapolis area. But that doesn’t stop volunteers from outside Indianapolis from coming to help and being blessed by God for so doing.
This past week a group of young volunteers from Evangelical Community Church in Bloomington , IN came in their van with their youth pastor, Rob Girvin to help out with the FHL Warehouse stocking shelves, lifting refrigeration units and doing general clean up both inside and out. Before coming down to Indianapolis, the group stopped by the home of a local disabled woman who works from home and blessed her with some groceries that the children had donated.
Listen as Merlin talks with this youth group about how volunteering with FHL to help others has blessed them
August 2, 2016
FHLFHL Week 2016: Youth Group Helps Out At FHL Warehouse
Merlin spoke with one of the winners of the FHL $50 Challenge at the 25th Street Baptist Church on 525 W. 25th. during FHL Week 2016: a group of clients from a soup kitchen.
The 25th Street Food Ministry serves a group of very appreciative clients with a community soup kitchen (what is called a “reverse soup kitchen”) and they in turn wanted to give back to the volunteers who serve them. So they put together a meal prepared by a working chef who volunteered his time.
Listen as Merlin interviews the clients of a very special soup kitchen in Indianapolis, 46208
The residents of Hope Indianapolis at Hawthorne Place Apartments got together and decided to make a change for their community and address the food insecurity some were experiencing. As a result, Hope Indianapolis Food Pantry opened for the apartment residents during FHL Week 2016 providing hope to those who are in need. Hawthorne Place had been operating a food pantry for some time with Faith, Hope and Love as a sponsor.
Merlin spoke with some of the potential clients and the women running this new food pantry about what they think this food pantry will mean for their community.
It was an exciting step forward for this community as its members worked together to make it happen and FHL was there to support them. Merlin also spoke with a volunteer from the original Hawthorne Place food pantry to get her perspective on the changes they have experienced.
August 2, 2016
FHLFHL Week 2016: Opening of New Hope Indianapolis Food Pantry