Wisconsin—For about three years now, the Share Him ministry team at the Green Bay Church has prepared a monthly meal at the new Community Shelter, an organization which provides meals and/or temporary housing to those in need in the Green Bay area.
Jairus Campbell, who heads up the Share Him group, is an inspiration to all involved. There are several who represent the core group of the Share Him ministry, plus others who join the regulars off and on as they are able.
Share Him group members purchase whatever groceries are necessary for this meal, which serves about 200 individuals. Rick Mathewson and Laura Brinkley do the buying most often, and they have made a game of it. The first time, since there was much trepidation because they weren't familiar with Woodman's Market and didn't know where any of the items were located, it took about two-and-a-half hours! Since then, an attitude of "Let's see how fast can we do this!" has helped them improve their shopping time. Now they zip down the aisles, using an organized list with aisle numbers, in about 15 minutes! Mathewson and Brinkley believe the Lord greatly blesses them whenever they do something together, in friendship, in His name.
Everyone helps to prepare the meal on Sunday, starting about 7:00 a.m., which usually takes about two hours or so. The same meal is prepared each month—a vegetarian stew (made with a delicious gravy concocted by Peggy Campbell), cookies, juice, bread, a colorful and tasty lettuce salad, and, lastly, a fruit salad containing mixed fruit as well as fresh grapes and bananas. The vegetarian stew has gained quite a reputation at the Shelter, and is loved by all.
Joel and Naomi Campbell, Jairus and Peggy's children, have been part of Share Him from the onset, and have grown so much in their ability to serve the Lord. They are living proof that you are never too young to serve the Lord if you have a willing and loving heart. They often prepare the grapes and bananas, cookies, juice and bread, and have become very independent and are able to work on their own with limited supervision.
All members involved love being part of this ministry, because even though they don't always feel like getting up early on a precious Sunday morning, they find that God does bless them each and every time in extraordinary ways. They laugh and hug and have fun, and they always get the meal done on time, even if a "regular" can't show up. The Lord simply sends them someone else in his/her place. It is truly amazing! Share Him volunteers always convene for prayer with joined hands and bowed heads, giving thanks to God.
Share Him ministry volunteers believe this ministry is important to the residents at the Shelter, as well as to the community. It is a blessing for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to have this exposure in the community, so people are aware of the church's presence and know that they are invited to participate. There are regular residents at the Shelter who enjoy working with us, and they seem happy to join the Share Him group and help as needed, carrying in the groceries and locating items in the kitchen. The volunteers have a system in place that allows them to just spring right through their chores, so they are finished in no time at all.
A great addition to the group more recently are Bruce Kirby and Pat Orgeman; they've added much to the joy and fellowship of this monthly event.
Since the Share Him ministry team actually serves the meal each time they prepare it, this provides a great time to get to know the residents better, to provide a listening ear for their stories, and, most importantly, to witness for their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As with all ministries, it takes people contributing in a variety of capacities. It only takes a few hands to actually prepare the meal, but many more hands are actively involved in other ways. The Share Him ministry team appreciates the support, finances and prayers of their church family. The group's few small families could never achieve any of their initiatives on their own, without the church body and Jesus Christ. The financial burden would be impossible for them. Since the beginning of this ministry, the church has contributed close to $10,000. Praise God! Every year it costs about $3,200 to purchase the grocery supplies.
"And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need" (Acts 2:44–45).
Laura Brinkley, member, Share Him Ministries. Adapted with permission from the September 2011 issue of The Messenger, the newsletter of the Green Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church