Miracle on Sylvester Street

by LeEllen Bradshaw

LeEllen with bounty of donated canned foods.
Volunteer, Randy Stadaker, prepares boxes for delivery.

Pasco, Wash., November 15, 2012 - On Monday, October 1, I received a call from Second Harvest, alerting me our food purchase order would not be coming this week as it had failed to get on the delivery truck from Spokane to Pasco. The person said, “You know we never turn around,” and that I knew.”

A few days before I received an email from our treasure stating to be careful since our Community Service Trust Funds were getting incredibly low, and I needed to keep the spending as low as possible. So I did what I always do when I can’t fix it myself or find someone to help me fix it. I sent up a quick prayer and asked God about it. What would I do? I figured I’d probably get a $400 or $500 loan from my husband, head to Winco and purchase cases of food for Wednesdays food Bank day. Eventually there would be enough money in the trust fund to repay my Bobby and life would go on.

Back track to first of June. I received a phone call from a lovely lady, Crystal Driver from the Richland Latter-Day Saints Church, asking me if it would be okay if she and her group could adopt our food bank for a function they were having September 29, 2012.  I thanked Mrs. Driver, put the date on my calendar and let her know we’d love to be a part of their event. We told them they could adopt us anytime; we could use all the food they collected as we served a diversity of people every week.

The next time I heard from her was in late July; she seemed discouraged since another large group in her church was having a food drive for different food bank. She was afraid that this larger group would take the wind out of her program and would have negative effects on her group. I told her, “Crystal, I can understand your concern but I have learned in my lifetime that I could only control one person (me) and what I couldn’t fix I gave to God. We had a prayer on the phone, and she thanked me and we hung up.

Now back to October 2. My husband’s blood pressure spiked to 225/110, causing us to spend hours in Kadlec’s ER, complicating my ability to head to Winco and purchase cases of food for the food bank the next day. So I sent up another prayer. “Here I am again God in the ER. it’s Tuesday and I can’t function to get to Winco to purchase food. Thank you for hearing my prayer.” A few more hours passed and we headed to Walgreens to get my husband’s prescription. While were waiting at Walgreens my phone rang. It was Crystal Driver. She asked if they could deliver the items they collected for our food bank. I quickly agreed and told her we would meet her there.

From her previously discouraged phone call I figured there would might be half a dozen grocery bags in the back of someone’s car. But when they arrived, there were three crew cab trucks loaded and secured. The back seats were full and there were eight people to help unload the items into our building. There were cases upon cases of food and things were given that we had never before received.

Now it seems to me that God could have had that delivery any week or any day, but He chose to have the Latter Day Saints deliver their collection – food, shampoo, deodorant, razors, hygiene items, underwear and shorts for children and adults—the day before Wednesday’s Food Bank. Again that is how God arranges things and we were blessed.  Our small Seventh-day Adventist operated food bank gives from 26-36 pounds of food each week to each family that comes in, which amounts to about 120 families. We serve just under 1000 people a week, giving them a simple selection of protein, grains, fresh/canned fruits and vegetables, and dairy.

Jesus says in Matthew 25:40, “When I was hungry you fed me, when I was thirsty you gave me a drink.” That is what happens every week in the flat-topped building behind the church. Our prayer is that we are His hands reaching out to help others. Sometimes it is people from other churches that help us answer that prayer.

God knew our need way back in June when we prayed and He waited till the last minute to answer our prayer to deliver the food the night before to our food bank on distribution day. But you know that is just how God does things. God does not mess up and he does not forget and he is always on time. God loves us so much He allowed us to be a part of His miracles. Being His hands and reaching out to others. People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.”