That’s A Lot Of Groceries

March Newsletter, 2014  Rick McPherson

Every time we take a trip, deliver groceries, do an outreach, preach a sermon or give a speech, we record it in our Ministry Log at Pacific NW Outreach.  By the end of the year our three ring note book is bulging.  I then take each report and tally the results for our Board of Directors’ Annual Meeting.  I admit there are a lot of statistics, but when you see the results I think you’ll agree that 2013 was a very busy and productive year of ministry, helping Native Americans. 

For example, we distributed over 16,800 family food boxes.  A family food box is a cardboard banana box that you’ve seen many times at the grocery store.  Did you ever wonder what they do with the boxes when the bananas are gone?  Well, we get as many as we can and use them to pack groceries for needy families.  Did you know that you can pack enough groceries in a banana box to feed two people for a week?  So, double the number of boxes and you see that we helped feed over 33,600 people last year.  That’s a lot of groceries!  And it includes other necessities, like boots, clothes, household supplies and anything else that we can fit on the truck for delivery to the reservations. 

To put this in perspective, let’s talk about value.  Specifically, let’s talk dollars.  How much money are we talking about?  If you value a food box at just $25.00, (and that’s a conservative number if you’ve been grocery shopping recently) you get, $420,000.00, and if you double that value to $50.00 a box you get, $840.000.00.  As I said, that’s a lot of groceries!  And remember, everything was given free of charge. 

Additionally we had over 265 people involved in our outreaches, travelled over 13,000 miles and attended or spoke at, an even dozen Pow Wows, churches and civic groups. 

But, I’ve saved the best for last.  You know that our mission statement is to help Native Americans, physically and spiritually.  We look for every opportunity with our ministry partners to tell the story of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness. 

And when I get reports like this I just have to share them with you:

“We have seen close to 100 professions of faith and about 20 baptized this past year.  It is a blessing to have you as a vital part of our ministry.  May the Lord bless your work.”

That report comes from a local pastor who receives surplus bread from our ministry after we have served local Native Americans groups in the greater Portland/Vancouver area. 

Again, we give God the glory for His blessing and favor.  This is His work and we are privileged to be a part.  From the Quinault reservation in western Washington State, to the Crow Nation in Crow Agency, Montana we have crisscrossed the country and because of people like you who have prayed for us and supported us financially we have made a difference.  Thank you. 

So the next time you’re in the store, pay close attention to those banana boxes.  Think of 16,800 of them stacked up and filled with groceries.   You’re right, that’s a lot of groceries!