Lansing church volunteers, including Marsha Brandon in first photo, right, help bag apples for donation to the Laingsburg Area Food Bank.

February 2, 2023

Near Miss to Mission Accomplished

A miscommunication in scheduling becomes opportunity for churches to help local farmer and the Laingsburg Area Food Bank.

A glance at the schedule showed a long lunch until 3:30. "Then I'll go home and work on Laingsburg Area Food Bank stats for the upcoming board meeting," thought Laingsburg optometrist, Marsha Brandon.

Later, while preparing the report, Marsha noticed a text at 2:30. "Where are you? You have a patient. " Realizing the staff had failed to notify her of the schedule change, Marsha stopped and rushed back to the office. Entering the exam room, she apologized to the man in the exam chair, explaining the miscommunication and how she had been preparing for the food bank board meeting. The patient, Brad Schlicher, a local farmer said, "I am wondering about the food bank, if they really need food or not. I have a bumper crop of apples and the volunteers didn't want them. I even tried to arrange a donation of apples at the Greater Lansing Food Bank but they claimed it was too hard to get volunteers to bag the apples from the crates."

The exam came to an end and Marsha told Brad she would try to help distribute the bumper crop. First, she found a buyer for two twenty-bushel crates and then called her pastor, Jermaine Gayle. She wondered if he had contacts willing to take some apples.

Jermaine was preparing a sermon on mission and had been wondering what project the church might take on. Here was an opportunity to help a farmer and feed something healthy to hungry people.

The next few days, contacts were made with various shelters and missions and local Adventist Community Centers. Two dozen volunteers from University Seventh-day Adventist Church and Lansing Seventh-day Adventist Church met at the Laingsburg Farm, Sunday, January 15. Working together for about an hour, they sorted and bagged over 50 bushels of Granny Smith and Fuji apples to share.

A miscommunication in scheduling led to a near miss of an appointment. The near miss led to an apology that included the food bank topic. The food bank topic led to the knowledge of a bumper apple crop which finally led to a mission project that will provide food for the hungry. God has an amazing way of getting His work accomplished.

Marsha Brandon, member of the University Seventh-day Adventist Church