While many mothers toss wearily in their sleep in Huntington Green, wondering how the bills will get paid, one mother across town is rising and dressing for a day fueled by passion and perspiration, because she knows food is life.
In the very early hours of the morning, before she and her husband get ready for work, she tends to her chickens and vegetable garden. It’s a labor of love — fresh eggs and produce for her family. When she returns home after work, she’s back at it, feeding her animals and checking on her plants.
Maria Gandy (left) is both diligent and motherly at her job with Caterpillar Ministries too. She is the Preschool Director, as well as the person who keeps the food pantry stocked and organized. Her love and care for the families in Huntington Green are evident in how she knows each by name, the needs they have and whether they prefer cereal or oatmeal, corn, or green beans. Hearty, canned soup is a must for the elderly neighbors who live alone and several of the mamas need plenty of diapers and baby wipes weekly.
Her mind calculates and keeps who gets what straight, while her arms fill bags and boxes of groceries for delivery. Maria bends and stoops and lifts for hours; donations of food and household items from the Lake Norman community are piled high.
The coronavirus has multiplied the food pantry work greatly.
But great is our gratitude for the gifts that keep coming.
Throughout the Bible, God provides for His people and promises to deliver them from harm. In the ancient stories of the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4), jars upon jars of olive oil are filled to the brim providing lasting provision for a widow and her two sons (vs 1-7). Later, Elisha feeds a hundred people during a famine with just one sack of grain and 20 loaves of barley bread (vs 38-44). The New Testament stories of Jesus feeding a crowd of 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish is a reminder of God’s ever-present help.
Today still, He is faithful to those who seek Him. Many families in Huntington Green are being hit hard by the pandemic due to job layoffs; most work in the service industry and money for food, rent and bill is sparse. Team Caterpillar is standing in the gap.
Bags of groceries, gift cards to local supermarkets and financial gifts
are coming in abundantly. Much of it is a wonderful surprise.
“We have been giving out food to our families for more than two months,” says Maria. “And each Thursday after the last bag has been delivered, I always thank God for our devoted donors who provide for our families.”
The food pantry shelves are filled, emptied and filled back up again. “Every time the last delivery has been made, donations pour in yet again,” adds Maria. “It brings me to tears because I am seeing that our ‘oil’ and ‘bread’ does not run out.” The God who created all things also sustains all things.
“The eyes of all look to You, and You give them
their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”