Endings are better than beginnings.
Sticking to it is better than standing out.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (MSG)
In 2012 an acquaintance at the time, Bruce Wells, invited me to attend an informational meeting about a new ministry called The Open Table. A “brother” or “sister” in poverty shares a table with 6-12 volunteers who assist them in setting and meeting goals for a year. Using money from his mother’s inheritance, Bruce flew me to Dallas, TX to attend. I was blown away by both Bruce’s generosity and what I heard about Open Table in Texas. I came back fired up to get Open Tables going in Indiana.
After our trip to Dallas, we organized informational meetings, recruited volunteers, raised money, and went through training. We got two Open Tables up and off the ground. Two tables in five years.
A little over a week ago, Bruce pulled together a group of us to see what we thought about the possibility of starting another table. All of us felt as if God was asking us to pursue the next steps. Considering all the work that went into those two tables in five years, a rational mind would have to wonder why.
But Bruce shared something during that meeting that encouraged us and still has me smiling. Bruce and I had spent a Saturday morning in 2014 with church and community leaders from another town who were interested in hearing about The Open Table. Their leader emailed Bruce after learning Bruce was calling together the group to explore the possibility of starting another table. This other town was looking to start their fourth table, and they had heard a town in the southern part of our state had launched a table. Suddenly all that earlier hard work seemed much more fruitful.
The only difference between how I felt before and after meeting was that I heard about the other five tables. But they were serving brothers and sisters in poverty whether I heard about them or not.
Most of the time we probably have little idea what difference our efforts for God make. Persevere! You are making a bigger difference than you know.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9 (NIV)