Huffman UMC shows love with Little Brown Bags
Members of Huffman United Methodist Church used one of their most successful programs to minister to the children of the Huffman community during Lent. Mission team members were moved to love, care for—and feed them.
One of the Mission Team's specialties is the project known as Little Brown Snack Bags. They usually choose one local school to support each time they make the snack bags, but during the Lent season, through prayer and discernment, they were moved to double the usual number of snack bags, providing them to children at two local schools.
Since approximately 90% of the children in the two schools are enrolled in the School and Breakfast Food Program, the snack bags were a welcome blessing.
The volunteers used Exodus 36:3 as inspiration, "…And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning." They received more than enough donations. They received support from local businesses—Aldi , Sam’s Club, Publix and Chick-fil-A. They applied for and received a Servants Like Jesus in Mission Grant, and enough funds to rent two U-Hauls to be used to deliver the bags….WOW!
"This has been a total congregation commitment throughout the entire project," said a spokesperson for the Mission Team. "We had helpers from15 months to 85 years of age. God used everyone!”
The first stuffing party was an extension of Huffman UMC's Mardi Gras covered dish lunch on Transformation Sunday. Another stuffing party during a Wednesday night dinner, and the contributions of the children, and the nearly 1,500 bags were ready to deliver.
Church members delivered the bags to Martha Gaskins Elementary and Huffman Academy, both Birmingham City Schools, on the Thursday and Friday before Spring Break. The schools' halls were filled with excitement, and blessings overflowed on those delivering and those receiving. "The kids were smiling ear to ear," said a church member. "They shared their hearts with all the volunteers, giving us hugs, and telling us their plans for Spring Break. They asked us to pray for them and their families." It obviously touched all their hearts, and their faces were filled with amazement and excitement as they high-fived and hugged the Chick-fil-a cow.
The birth of this ministry came from the connectional United Methodist Church family. Huffman UMC was led to the Little Brown Bag project by the Upper Sand Mountain Parish and Canterbury UMC, and this year they were able to assist in extending the ministry to Irondale UMC as they provided bags for Irondale Elementary. What a great way to kick off Spring, as God allowed Huffman UMC to embrace their community though the transformative love of Christ.