Leftover Water

Read: “Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, ‘Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?’ He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. Philip replied, ‘Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!’ Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. ‘There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?’ ‘Tell everyone to sit down,’ Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, ‘Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.’ So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.” John 6:5-13 (NLT)

Reflect: We regularly serve roughly 150 folks on our homeless outreach distribution days. These neighbors are young and old, newly homeless and homeless for years, mentally well and mentally ill, some clean, some dirty. We take them hygiene kits, clothes, snacks, and water bottles.

Just 24 hours before our most recent outreach, we found ourselves desperately short of bottled water. We only had 24 bottles! Remembering that it’s my job to be the vessel for giving and that God will handle the outcome, we simply made the call to action.

I went on Facebook and asked for more water from anyone willing to donate. Minutes later the comments and messages came flowing in. One friend from church happened to be at Costco shopping for his family, bought three cases of water, and delivered them to us. Another friend from church owns a local restaurant and invited me to swing by and pick up more from her. Between the two of them, we collected 330 bottles of water.

Fast forward to the distribution the next morning: we gave each person multiple bottles of water, drove around the surrounding blocks giving water to people in their tents and alongside the road. Even after having done that, we had four cases of water left over! So all four cases went to the pancake people who we’ve befriended. They were busy cooking pancakes and bacon for the homeless and were short of water themselves. So despite being short-handed less than 24 hours before, we not only had enough water for our project, but also for ANOTHER GROUP that day. God provided over and above our need.

React: Get involved in whatever ministry is tugging at your heart. Take that faith step and get started even if you don’t yet have all the information or all the resources. Trust!

Pray: Lord, multiply resources you send to us and through us as we seek opportunities to serve our neighbors in seismic ways.