Making a Difference through MealsWritten by admin on May 20, 2019 in - No Comments
Jesus said the world will know we are his disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35). Over the years, one of the meaningful ways that members of Church at the Well have showed our love for one another is by participating in meal trains. When a family welcomes a baby into the world or there is illness or surgery or hardship, Tasha Lehman, our Hospitality Team coordinator, sets up a meal train on the online platform, mealtrain.com, and sends a link out to the congregation through the church forum and email announcements. People sign up to bring a dinner, and for a week or two, the family or individual doesn’t have to shop or cook.
Practically speaking, these prepared meals free up time and energy to spend adjusting to life with a newborn or recovering from a surgery or illness. But more than helping out practically, these meals are a reminder that whatever a family or individual is going through, they are part of a larger community that loves them—they are not alone. “It truly feeds the soul as well as the body to be served a meal when you are in a vulnerable place,” says Tasha. Here is what a few meal train recipients have shared about their experience:
- It was such a humbling blessing that made us feel loved and connected when we were dealing with a really hard time. The food was a big help, and it was so nice to not have to worry about our next meal! However, the connectedness we felt to the community through the kindness of the meals was even more impactful for us. There’s just something powerful about receiving grace, especially when it comes not only from friends but also those we don’t know well.
- We had so many details to take care of and arrangements to make when my mother-in-law passed away that spending the energy or time to cook was unfathomable. Members of The Well nourished our bodies and our Spirits. For that we are incredibly thankful.
- My head was pounding, my lungs were rattling, and my energy was depleted. Meanwhile, my two and four year old, who were also sick, needed their mamma to cuddle them, read to them, and check fevers. My heart sunk as I thought of the week ahead and doing all this alone while my husband was out of town. But I wasn’t alone! I had a village of church members, other moms, and friends checking in on us all week because of the meal train the church set up. It eased my mind knowing I wouldn’t have to spend the little time and energy I had making meals. As I was eating a yummy Klondike sandwich someone brought, I thought, “I can do this!”
- It was truly a gift from God to have others make meals for us after our son was born. It saved me so much worrying and helped our family get off to a great start.
Meal trains have also served as a picture of Christ’s love in action to those beyond the Church at the Well community, as friends and extended family of meal train recipients witness the ways our church family has cared for their loved one. And thanks to the online nature of the platform, friends and family beyond Church at the Well can sign up to bring a meal, too. One meal train recipient caring for two ill children while she herself was ill and her husband away shared the meal train link on her facebook page, and as a result, not only did folks from the Well provide meals, but a friend who is not part of the Church at the Well signed up to bring her dinner, and her mom’s group pitched in too, organizing their own informal week-long “breakfast train”—a modern-day loaves and fishes story it would seem.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed meals over the years—sometimes even for families or individuals whom you may not yet have met! If you have not contributed to meal trains in the past and would like to consider participating in the future, be sure not only to sign up for weekly email announcements, but for the Church email forum, which is the fastest way to be alerted when a meal train is set up. (You can sign up here). And if you’d like to participate, but cooking isn’t your thing, take-out is also appreciated. “Bringing a meal to someone in our church family can bless you as much as it does the recipient,” says Tasha. “Whether you bring a frozen pizza or a home baked lasagna, people are truly grateful for your generosity.” The idea is not to be Martha Stewart, but simply to bless our brothers and sisters in a helpful way during a hard time, that they may tangibly experience the love of Jesus