Over Thanksgiving a team of nine, including five people from the Lincoln Park Campus and four of their family members, traveled to Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico to serve Thanksgiving Dinner at a children’s home. This dinner provides an opportunity for the home to thank those in Tlacolula for the help they have provided over the past year (everyone from the mayor, to the person who helps service the IT needs, to those who minister alongside the home in their community).
As we were leaving to go grocery shopping on Wednesday morning we were told about some budgetary constraints this month that left the food supply for meals at a bare minimum. For dinner they had bread and hot chocolate one night last week – things were that tight! We were also told the number of guests may be closer to 200 rather than the 150 we had planned for. Additionally, we were shopping with a much smaller budget than we had used last year.
We were only able to get 1/2 of what we needed for some of the recipes including 1/10th of what we needed for the sweet potatoes, we were short 3 turkeys based on what was needed for 150 people (closer to 5 turkeys for 200 people), we purchased only 1/3 of the russet potatoes needed and we thought we were still a bit over budget.
Before we began to cook on Thursday morning, we prayed as a team asking for patience during the cooking process, reminders of why we were serving, and that He literally multiply our meal to allow for enough to feed the group we were serving. As we were cooking there did not seem to be nearly enough food. In fact, the phrase of the day seemed to be “Oh well, I am not going to worry about it, it will all work out.”
As we were serving the food we noticed it literally wasn’t depleting! Someone mentioned that when she was walking by the stuffing that the quantity was not getting any lower. Then, someone else noticed the abundance of potatoes – we did not even deplete the first vat of mashed potatoes and there were two large vats left as well. A third person noticed the same with the drinks – the amount in the serving buckets did not seem to be disappearing much from where we had started even though she was serving almost 200 guests. This continued item by item. Even the 1/10th of the sweet potato recipe ended up lasting to feed everyone who came through the line for first and second helpings. We realized while we were packaging up the left-over’s that not only were we able to feed almost 200 people but there was enough food left to feed the home for at least a week if not more. We also had ingredients left over that we had not even needed to use, such as 2 bags of cornmeal that the home can use over the next few weeks.
It was truly amazing! The girls and I walked back from the dining hall completely awestruck! We just witnessed Him answering our prayers and multiplying the food not only for the meal but for days ahead! We just witnessed a loaves and fishes miracle!
But the answers to our prayers did not end there. Based upon the exchange rate when we left, we figured we had been over budget by about $100. However, when we totaled the receipts with the currency rate adjustments they totaled $0.32 less than our total budget! All was provided for EXACTLY as we needed!