FARGO, N.D. (BP)–When Temple Baptist Church heard the International Mission Board was sending boxes of food to hungry families in Iraq, they wanted to help. The 100-member Fargo, N.D., congregation decided they could manage to assemble 25 boxes of food.
They never dreamed what God actually had in mind: Community members outside the church responded, donating more food than anyone imagined.
The church’s initial goal of 25 boxes multiplied into 181.
“God intervened,” said James Sabot, development director for South Valley Baptist Association. “I made a few calls to local producers and growers, and they responded generously.”
Sabot explained that it’s hard to convince producers to help with a giving program because they have so many people and organizations asking for gifts. But when the flour-grinding mill in Grand Forks immediately donated 2,500 pounds of flour, “that got us going,” Sabot said.
Producers and growers donated about 80 percent of the total food count. Monetary gifts used to purchase additional food brought the total to 12,000 pounds of product.
“That’s over $10,000 worth of food,” Sabot said.
Thirty people came out May 17 to help pack and load the 181 boxes Temple Baptist and two other Baptist churches in the area donated.
The Fargo-Moorhead area of North Dakota numbers 200,000 in population, with Baptists comprising a small part of the Christian community, Sabot commented. “People just wanted to help,” he said.
Three local television stations and the local newspaper were present Saturday and reported on the churches’ efforts.
Sabot’s request for help went out only about two weeks earlier, and the amazing results followed quickly. Sabot summed up the whole event as an “amazing continuation of God at work.”