- Written by Linda Funke Linda Funke
- Created: August 30 2022 August 30 2022
Elijah said to the widow, “For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.1 Kings 17:14–16
Over and over in His Word, God reminds us that He is “Jehovah Jireh”, which means “God will provide.” This name is first seen in Genesis 22:14, when God provides a ram in the thicket in place of the sacrifice of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham called that place “Jehovahjireh”—“The Lord will provide.” Another example of God’s provision is how He cared for Elijah, sending ravens to feed him by the brook, then sending him to a widow in Zarephath who had only a handful of flour in a jar and little oil in a jug. She was preparing her “last loaf of bread” to feed herself and her son when Elijah asked for bread. How could she share with Elijah? But God promised He would provide and that the oil and flour would not run out, and it didn’t! He not only provided the oil and flour, He also answered Elijah’s prayer and brought her son back to life when he died.
Applying the “Jehovah Jireh Principle” to our Food Pantry and Clothing Closet
There have been many times when we’ve wondered “Is our oil and flour going to run out?” In our case, it’s cereal, sugar, tuna, money, etc.! The answer has always been “No. I promised I will provide.” Invariably, donations of particular items or cash will appear at just the right time. We have also been blessed by receiving food from the county food bank as well as some grants through Walmart and Thrivent. We are so very thankful for how God blesses this ministry through you, His people, and in turn for blessing the community through our food pantry and clothing closet.
Increasing Needs, Growing Numbers
At the beginning of 2022, we averaged approximately ten families per week. By June, our average was thirteen. In July we averaged fifteen, and in August our average has been twenty-plus families (approximately 75–100 individuals) per week. Our highest number on a single Tuesday has been 26 families, 119 individuals! Because of the increasing needs of families during this time of rapidly rising prices, we anticipate this number will increase as well, also increasing our needs.
The Food Bank of Larimer County has continued to provide many free food items and to waive the per-pound fee they normally charge. They anticipate resuming this charge in 2023. We purchase approximately 65% of the food and paper products we provide to clients, averaging $12–15 each client (per week). The combination of rising prices and rising numbers of clients each week means our expenses are increasing and our need for donations has also increased. We continue to apply for grant funds and have been blessed to receive $1,000 in Walmart grants and $250+ in Thrivent grants, plus private donations of food and cash. Our clients even bring in clothing closet donations in appreciation for what they receive.
Current pantry needs include tuna, bar soap, pasta, pasta sauce, cereal (both hot and cold), one- to two-pound bags of flour and sugar, corn or flour tortillas, family-sized cans of soup (especially chicken soups), baby wipes, shampoo and toothpaste. And cash donations are always welcomed.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers as our church reaches out to the community through our food pantry and clothing closet, sharing God’s blessings and His love. We continue to be reminded that God will provide all our needs. Just as Abraham, Elijah and the widow of Zarephath trusted God’s promise to provide, so can we. And we boldly proclaim Jehovah Jireh! The Lord Provides!
From 9:00 to 11:00 AM every Tuesday morning, the members of Saint John’s who operate our Food Pantry and Clothing Closet distribute non-perishable food and clean, gently-used clothing to those in need in our community.