Serve A Meal Thanksgiving

Dear friends,

In May, we announced the launch of a new initiative: Serve-a-Meal. This initiative is a stop gap to address heightened need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the goal of serving 10,000 fresh meals throughout the month of June, in sixteen locations across the Philippines. Serve-a-Meal has enabled our ministry partners to build and strengthen relationships this past month with street dwellers, homeless, tricycle drivers, those in the
service sector (street sweepers, garbage collectors, etc.), front-liners serving in the hospitals, law enforcers, those who are stranded without aid, and those who live in poor neighborhoods, women and children. As of this posting, our partners have served a total of 6,000 meals! Praise the Lord! Continue reading for uplifting stories from those on the field. Thank you, thank you, thank you for engaging in the ministry with us through your generous support.

Supporting local farmers

Thank you from Serve-a-Meal volunteers

I thank the LORD for this opportunity to volunteer and to partner with Him in this ministry of sharing His blessings with people. As we serve meals to communities, I observed that they are not just after the food. When they heard that we brought Bibles for them, they quickly asked us, “ma’am, give us a copy of the Bible, please”; others say, “ma’am I do not have a Bible yet”; still another, “ma’am, please replace my old Bible with a new one,” while showing us her old Bible. It melts my heart hearing these words from them. Indeed we can still expand the Kingdom of God even in the midst of this pandemic. I realized that during this time of pandemic, people are not just hungry for physical food, there are still many of them who hunger for God’s presence, hunger for God’s love and for God’s attention. Through this ministry of the Lord may they feel that they are important and they are not different from us. May they feel and experience that Jesus Christ loves them as much as He loves us. I praise the Lord for this moment that I witnessed His amazing love to these people. I praise the Lord for He reminds me again of my purpose of living on this earth. May His Name all the more be proclaimed through this ministry. Praises, glory, and honor belong only to the One true God.”

– Leah, IVCF Cebu student volunteer

It is a joy in my heart to see people smile as I give them the food packs, but it’s more joy to me as they ask for a Bible, or read the tracts that are in the packs. One thing I can say is that the Lord I serve could use me as His means to bestow His common grace to the least of poor people in society. The Lord always meets my and our needs, but indeed He is also capable to extend such blessings through us to those who are poor. Even though they may be ignored by society, the Lord never does.

– Jacob, IVCF Central and Eastern Visayas, student volunteer
IVCF Cebu volunteers preparing for distribution

Serve-a-Meal is extra special because of the joy God has allowed in the midst of the preparation. God has both enabled the team to know each other and be one with the goal – to win the people in the community to Christ. Moreover, there was a great impact carrying out Serve-a-Meal for the third week in a row, because it helped the team to be more sensitive in the community, and be more compassionate for the people. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to MEANS USA, donors, prayer partners and those who in one way or another made this activity possible. Above all, we would like to thank our Almighty God for everything He has done. Truly, it’s a joy to serve God by serving His people. May the Lord bless the people we reached and may He touch their hearts to surrender to Him. All glory and honor belong to God alone!

– Christian, Cebu City volunteer

This partnership with MEANS and Hope of the World is a blessing not just to the recipients but also to the volunteers who work alongside us. We were able to cultivate compassion for the needy, sensitivity to their needs, and a heart to reach the lost. It changed the way they see the ministry to the poor and underprivileged.

– Mark Corre, MEANS partner and volunteer

Those who received the meals are so happy. You can see it in their faces. We are very happy as volunteers because at least we can help in our situation. Some people asked if we will come back but we are saying next time when there is time again. We are happy volunteers who help especially when we see they are happy when they receive the food we give.

– Aira, worker/volunteer

I thank the Lord for [Serve-a-Meal]. It was a great privilege to be part of today’s food pack distribution for the scavengers. During the event, I was touched by scavengers’ hunger for physical food and spiritual food. I was overwhelmed and teary-eyed because I saw the poor situation of these people. The people there are also prone to diseases because of exposure to different forms of waste. Seeing those people’s faces made me realized that there are so many people who need help, not just financially, but especially spiritually. Yes, physical food can strengthen their bodies but spiritual food can strengthen their faith and hope for the future. I pray that God will put joy in their hearts and they’ll find their satisfaction in Him.

– Christine, IVCF graduate volunteer
CBCF volunteers preparing food for tricycle drivers

Nehemiah 3:1-12. At first glance, Chapter-3 might appear to be a boring account of who did what on the reconstruction. However, a closer look highlights how people work together. What we did—cooking, buying, and packing the foods that we gave to the scavengers—was an example of how we worked together, therefore, making the job easier and done more quickly. Therefore, if there is unity or teamwork in a certain group, then certain tasks could be done easily and fast. It helps also to improve our relationship with one another, not just as brothers and sisters, but also as good ambassadors of Jesus Christ. To God be all the Glory.

– Lance, student volunteer

When Lance asked me to come along to Ate Ann’s house for Serve-a-Meal, I initially felt a bit useless since I did not know what to do. Then, as I began learning how to prepare the food and to give it to the scavengers, it touched me seeing them smile because you could see how genuine and happy they are to be given the food pack. I felt such mixed emotions at that time: sympathy and compassion because they were hungry, joy because they were happy to receive, and other emotions. It was the first time for me to give to a lot of people. All I can say is that it was such an amazing experience that the Lord gave me. To God be all the glory.

– IJ, student volunteer

We’re writing from the last wave of IVCF Caraga “SERVE A MEAL” in partnership with MEANS USA. It’s Week 4, and a total of 15 passionate servant volunteers just distributed a pack of 100 meals at San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao. Here are two of their testimonies:

“Serving the people requires serious, consistent self‐examination, deep prayer, and willingness to be converted. One who serves others has to realize and accept the fact that he too is weak. Reaching out to them sounds satisfying. Indeed, I experienced joy not only in what we did but the process also brought joy to my heart. I felt so helpful to others.”

Jonie Daigdigan

“I am grateful to be part of this program called “Serve-a-Meal” catered by IVCF-CRU and MEANS USA. This experience was one-of-a-kind, seeing the genuine smile of every tricycle driver and their response in receiving the free meal brought me so much joy. During this experience, God taught me the meanings of the words “Joy” and “Compassion”: joy in serving others and compassion to those who are in need.”

Iresh Asuncion

They say “save the best for last”, but IVCF CRU and MEANS USA believe that serving and giving do not end here. We continue to seek God’s heart through sharing by any simple little means that we can do for others.
Thank you MEANS USA for sharing. Also, to Balawag Family and Mr. & Mrs. Renante Nabarro for lending us your cars. IVCF-CRU will always be your partner in reaching out. God bless you always

– Jackylyn Orlandez, IVCF Caraga Mindanao volunteer

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