From Chelsea Rotunno:
My new job at Gleanings, besides homeschool teacher and mom, ballet teacher, and kids meeting leader, is to write the weekly blog post. It will be on the Gleanings blog, but I thought we would post a version of it here, too! Andy and I decided to call these wrap-up posts "Soup of the Week," since it is soup production season here.
SOUP OF THE WEEK
Another wonderful week at Gleanings, with about 700,000 servings of soup processed and 26 quilts sewn!
Familiar faces are always an encouragement to missionaries and their families! We were blessed to have a visit from Jim and Ralene Stine, Charity, and little William. The Stine family used to be on staff here at Gleanings, and as the saying goes, "People don't stay away from Gleanings long."
Volunteers this week included a team from Centerpoint/Bayside Church, students from Cal Baptist University, long and short term mission builders, and backpackers from around the world.
Josy, from Paris, France, is one backpacker who has brightened our community here with her smile and work ethic. Originally from Madagascar, Josy knows what starvation and hunger looks like. "In Madagascar, I saw starvation daily. Kids are abandoned on the streets. There are orphanages, but not enough room for all the kids."
Josy had the opportunity to take 8 months off work, and she chose to come to Gleanings all the way from France. "I want to give back and make sure that someone else will have food ... It might just be a drop in the bucket, but still, it's worth it."
As Josy puts it, "I know what starvation looks like, and I know what abundance looks like." She has seen and lived the Gleanings' motto, "Our abundance, their need."
Like many volunteers, Josy says it is hard to put into words what she has experienced at Gleanings. "I came here to volunteer. But there is another dimension to the whole thing. It is a spiritual retreat. I feel so peaceful here. It's something I cannot describe." Josy plans to return to Gleanings this summer with her whole family to serve in the peach plant.
Thursday night dinners are called Love Feast because we want to make our volunteers feel loved and appreciated for all their hard work. Each Love Feast has a new guest speaker. This past Thursday, YWAM legends Stan and Nancy Bracy blessed us with this reminder: to walk with the Lord is to listen and obey. The Bracys were missionaries with YWAM back when Corrie ten Boom was speaking at YWAM events. Their DTS was in Munich, Germany. At the time, they were newly married, and they evangelized in the streets during the Olympics. It is always encouraging to hear stories of God's faithfulness and the rich history of YWAM!
GIFTS AND TALENTS
Nancy also gifted some staff members free haircuts as part of her service here this week. She called her little station outside the dining hall "The Chilly Beauty Shop," since we had nice cool breeze.
Cynthia Herrmann is another example of a servant who is listening and obeying the Lord with how she can serve at Gleanings. Cynthia, a homeschool mom and CPA, felt the Lord nudge her to offer her expertise to the Gleanings staff. It was a week of numbers and signing tax papers for many of us here. What a blessing to have Cynthia helping out, using her gifts and talents--and most of all, to know her faithfulness in praying for the staff all year round.
SOLAR PANEL PROJECT
Gleanings signed a solar contract this week! God gave us the sun and we are going to get solar panels, which makes perfect sense when you live in a sunny climate and have a lot of space. Now we wait on the Lord for the funds. We have complete faith that the Lord will provide the $100,000 needed to get started with installation. Please continue to pray for the next steps: funds, grants, and permits.
"For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat ... " Isaiah 25:4
Thank you Jesus!