by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMSports) – Nearly 60 Truett-McConnell College athletes joined together with Mt. Yonah Baptist Church and the White County Food Pantry to distribute 10,000 lbs of food to 130 White County Residents, February 1, 2014.
Food for the soul
While focus was directed towards meeting the community's physical needs, Stacy Dyer, interim pastor at Mt. Yonah Baptist Church, said meeting spiritual needs was the main purpose: "While we gathered all the recipients into our auditorium for registration, I was given the opportunity to share the Gospel through a tract. Praise the Lord that after praying, ten individuals confirmed they had prayed to receive Christ as Lord and master of their lives."
While the White County Food Pantry is open Monday through Friday, not all local residents are available to pick up food during its hours of operation. Recognizing this need, Mt. Yonah Baptist Church teamed up with Wayne Burnett, director of the local food pantry and also a member of the church, to provide residents with an opportunity to collect food on the first Saturday of every month.
"Every action of the church should be focused on sharing the Gospel and the food ministry at Mt. Yonah is a perfect place to tell everyone about Jesus Christ," Dyer said.
A team of servants
Anticipating a large crowd and hoping to distribute all the boxes in an hour and a half, Burnett called on TMC athletes to help with the momentous undertaking.
"We were able to buy 10,000 pounds of food for 300 dollars," Burnett said, looking at the truck in amazement. "And the fact that we have this many athletes helping is fantastic."
Each athlete participated in a variety of ways: while some directed traffic, others allocated food into boxes and led them down an assembly line to be filled with items from the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.
"It's important for us all to be involved in opportunities like this, because for some of us, we've been there," said basketball player Brandon Cerezolla. "Even though we had to wake up early to come and help, when you see people in need, it quickly removes any sense of tiredness among us."
Whether the Good News of Jesus' love is shared with words or actions, Victoria Schillinger of the TMC women's soccer team said, "having the opportunity to be a light," is what it's all about. "We want to serve Christ in all that we do; that's the biggest part of us being here," she said. "We want others to know that we are here to share the love of Christ with them."
For more information about the food ministry at Mt. Yonah Baptist Church, or how to become involved, visit mtyonahbc.org.