by Andrea Meier
On a recent Sunday, parishioner Don Nichols sat in Awesome Worship and heard an announcement that Epiphany Community Health and Outreach Services (ECHOS) needed fresh produce for their clients. Inspired to act, he reached out to his Sunday school group and small group to suggest they come together to support the drive for the glory of God and to honor our late deacon, the Rev. Greg Buffone, who they called the "Pastor to the Poor". Financial commitments from both groups poured in. He reached out directly to ECHOS and learned that oranges were the produce most wanted by the people ECHOS served.
Don runs a food pantry in Houston’s East side and through this work has connections with food wholesalers. When he went to purchase oranges for the drive, the Holy Spirit stepped in. “I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to ask the wholesaler for a discount,” Don recalled. “This is not something this seller would normally do; he is very much a businessman with a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude about price. I was tired and thought what the Holy Spirit was asking me would not happen, so I did not ask for a discount. Then, the seller amazingly offered one when he never had before.” The discount allowed Don to purchase two extra cases of oranges for a total of 26 cases or 1,872 oranges!
Following the lessons of our Adult Sunday school class on Ruth and Esther, he shared the ‘gleanings of the harvest’ by giving one of the cases to a family in need on his way to deliver the oranges to the produce drive at church.
Together, Don and his group members were able to make a larger contribution than if they had used their talents separately. “God has given each of us different talents,” Don reflected. “When we are given a challenge or find a cause, we should use those God-given talents to glorify him. I used my connections, while one of the lawyers in my group committed his treasure.”
Thank you to everyone who used their talents to donate to the ECHOS food drive and give to the glory of God. Over 300 families served by ECHOS received a bounty of oranges, potatoes, onions, green beans, squash, apples, and other produce!