When I came to know Mike and become more familiar with Elevate one of the things that we started imagining was a Thanksgiving and Christmas barbecue at Second and Selden. Elevate had done a Christmas last year and Mike was passionate about doing that again.
As came closer and closer to the Thanksgiving cookout I was beginning to worry a bit. We had the chairs, tables, trailers and some workers, but I was concerned about having enough food. We hadn’t done a whole lot of soliciting or putting feelers out there to see if anyone was bringing anything to actually eat. Luckily we had left over chilli and wings from our rained-out barbecue on Tuesday’s episode of Chizzy Cam.
I asked Mike and Amanda about food for Thursday in our weekly meeting. They both just looked around and said, “I don’t know. I think it will be there.” I expressed some concern and pressed it a bit. “Do we know if anyone else is bringing anything?” “Um, no, I am pretty sure we have a few turkeys.” So, I just sort of trusted them and trusted God– both of whom had been doing this kind of work longer than I have.
We pulled up to the park on Thursday morning, unloaded the trailers, set up chairs and the food started coming. First a couple here and a couple there. Then it just kept coming. Eventually we had four full tables of food, a table of deserts and a whole other table of drinks. Multiple turkeys, multiple hams, trash bags full of rolls, (literally) 85 pounds of mashed potatoes and more food than we could have imagined. It was more than enough to feed the 200 people there.
We all ate, laughed, had a fun meal together. When it came time to pack things up we still had a ton of food left over. More than we knew what to do with. We agreed to pack it all up and take it a couple blocks away to the Detroit Rescue Mission.
I mentioned on Chizzy CAM the other night that I come from a background where you have to work hard to make things happen. If things don’t go right, it’s because you didn’t work hard enough. God works in a different way. He likes to make things work in spite of your efforts. These things are God confirming that he is on the side of what you are doing. Do what you can, and God will do the rest.
It would be impossible to personally thank everyone who brought food. Many people stopped on the curb, handed us food and drove off. But we do want to take the time to thank the people and organizations who we are able to thank:
Buffalo Wild Wings– The locations at Troy and Flint donated 225 wings a piece. Thank them when you go in.
Café Sonshine – I literally walked in for lunch and the owners asked if they could cook us a giant pot of chilli. They are the best.
Kensington Community Church – they lent us the use of 50 long tables and 294 folding chairs as well as two of their trailers and a truck to haul it all down there.