Southcliff's Food Ministry
Southcliff's Food Ministry — May 18th
by Ethan Young, Intern
Did you know that Southcliff distributes approximately 500 pounds of food each week on Tuesday nights?
What happens on Tuesday nights that requires so much food to be given away? Eash week Southcliff teaches English to approximately 150 from all around the world.
Families often wait years and years in refugee camps overseas before coming to the United States and once here, it can be very difficult for them to learn English. Men usually find jobs quickly that don’t require English and remain at a low English level. Women usually have to stay home and don’t have opportunities to learn English. however, our ESL classes change that.
For almost 20 years, Southcliff has been teaching English as a second language. Last year, we started giving away free food at the end of our classes via our partnership with the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
In Isaiah 58, the people of Israel have fallen from true relationship with God. They still do the religious works, like fasting, but they do not do it genuinely to know God. God says of their fasting,
"...on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.”
God instead says that the kind of fasting he desires is to help the oppressed and:
“to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe them…”
God promises them,
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”
By providing food, clothing, and household items for our international friends, we are partnering with God, providing for the physical needs of our neighbors. Fasting, of course, is still important and good, but if we fast and do not help those around us we are missing the point. We cannot worship God and not help our neighbors. Praise God that He has blessed us with the ability help our neighbors.
Our hearts of service and care do not go unnoticed among our international friends. I have heard some of the Muslims say that all of the nice people they know are Christians. Last week, on our final ESL night before summer, a woman was crying as she was going through our line to receive food. I asked her why she was crying and she said it is because of how much we as a church have been serving her family and she was overwhelmed.