Children Making a Difference

June 30, 2023

SHATTUCK, OKLA. – Who makes the best volunteers in our churches? Children! Who always has tons of energy and a huge desire to help? Children! Who barely complains unless they’re tired and hungry? Yes, the children!

There’s definitely wisdom in the story of Jesus telling the disciples to let the children come to Him (Luke 18:16, 17). He knew children would be useful in the ministry. He knew children would love Him, follow Him, obey Him and serve Him with all their hearts, minds and souls.

Have you noticed that when you ask a child to help out that they readily and happily do it, especially if it’s something that involves helping others? Our little Bethany loves helping out at the Ellis County Food Bank located in Shattuck. With her God-given gifts of strength, energy and vitality, she helps bring food, such as a bag of oranges, along with her dad and other volunteers as they carry other food items to the vehicle where the clients wait. She also helps carry empty boxes back to the filling station to be filled with different kinds of food for those in need. There’s lots of running and going back and forth. It’s definitely a workout, and at the end of the day, she’s wiped out and sleeps like a log. Remember Ecclesiastes 5:12? It says, “The sleep of a laborer is sweet.”

Bethany’s volunteering at the food bank has been bringing joy and inspiration to volunteers and clients alike. There are always lots of smiles and encouraging words when she’s there helping out. God is good! Praise the Lord for this ministry opportunity and also for church leaders that allow little children to be a part of the ministry!

Our food bank ministry has been serving about 90-100 households in Shattuck, Gage, Fargo and Arnett since 2009. It is supported by church and community donations with an average of 15 volunteers who serve each second and fourth Wednesday of the month.

Most of the clients have been long-term clients of the food bank and come on the second Wednesday of the month for fresh produce, milk and eggs. Homebound clients receive their food through Ellis County Transportation Services.

So, what do volunteers do? They help unload fresh produce, frozen items, staples and more from the truck, fill 110 boxes with food, stack filled boxes in the hall, bring boxes to the front for loading, load boxes into cars, bring empty boxes back to the filling station, fold boxes, stack boxes and clean up. Anyone can help.

Pat Stock, who has been leading out this ministry for about 13 years now, says, “Come and see! Anybody can come and help. Until you do something like this, you don’t realize the true poverty of the area. You don’t appreciate it until you’re actually seeing it. It’s a blessing to do it. We feel blessed to have been able to do it since 2009 and hope to continue on.”

If our little Bethany can help, I am sure anybody can help. We just need to make ourselves available for God. “The King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40 (KJV).

By Sheila Burkhardt