Our organization, The 5 Smooth Stones, is all about connecting people in need with the people who serve in our community. We do that by creating media and purposeful outreach (content) for organizations that otherwise could not afford it. We then use that media to expose the good works so that those in need will have a better chance at knowing where to go for help.
One of our purposeful events is the ongoing distribution of food. Since May 2020 we have distributed enough food to feed 318,000 people in our area (Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Hemet, San Jacinto, Lake Elsinore, Fallbrook). We’ve pulled together outstanding helping organizations like United Way of Hemet, Living Stones Church, SMART Moms, All Good Things Ministries, 412 Church in Murrieta, and The Healing Rooms in Temecula to help serve people each week. There are also supporting organizations like Quiet Cool in Temecula that donate their facility, equipment, and employees helping to offload tens of thousands of pounds of food for distribution every single week.
The food is distributed to hundreds of individual families in need. We have also reached out to other food ministries and are either the main or secondary supplier of food for Good Samaritan Food Pantry/Temecula, Circle of Care/Temecula, Rotary Club/Hemet, My City Youth/Hemet, St Vincent De Paul/Temecula, The Rock Church Food Care, 7th Day Adventists Food Ministry/Hemet, Acts International Fellowship Church Food Mission/Menifee, Salvation Army/Murrieta, Dream Center/Lake Elsinore, Light of Hope Church, El Shaddai Community, U-Turn for Christ, Give to One/Murrieta, Building a Way, Calvary Chapel El Alfarero, City Wide Mosaic, Community Mission of Hope, Compassionate Ministries of Gateway Church of the Nazarene, Boxing for Christ, Living Way, Prince of Peace, Project Touch, and others.
Each week we not only have an opportunity to serve but an opportunity to experience and create an atmosphere of joy. The circumstances that bring us all together are not fun. People are hurting and hungry (physically, financially and emotionally). While the circumstances are true, our response to those circumstances is to resist the temptation to bathe in the details. Instead, we choose to create a happy, party-like atmosphere where hurting people can hold their heads high, seek and find the solution to their needs, and continue on with a fresh, confident, and uplifting perspective.
Our team not only loads food in the vehicles belonging to these precious children of God but prayer is also given for all. Either prayer for specific needs or a simple blessing is a part of our effort to serve in the best way we know. Through this atmosphere of acceptance, services, and prayer, we have witnessed, through testimony, miraculous movement in people’s lives. I wonder if it is the attitude of our atmosphere that facilitates the move of God in their lives. Please don’t read anything into that statement. Relationship with the Trinity is the way to be touched by God’s loving grace and mercy. However, if the energy of the event clears away the darkness for someone for just an instant… Perhaps that instant is all that God needs to say “I am here.”
Last week, we had one of those moments. The heaviness of circumstance was lifted just long enough for seven individuals to see the true love of Jesus. All seven, at that moment of clarity, decided to follow Him. If you are not a follower of Jesus (a Christian), it means those seven have a new and eternal life in Jesus which means they can wake up every morning with the assurance that the best is yet to come–no matter how good or bad life seems to be at that moment. It truly is a moment of joy for the person who accepts Him and every Christian that witnesses this astounding free gift being accepted by another. The party atmosphere, certainly there must be something about it. After all, Jesus’ first recorded miracle was at a party.
In the part of the Bible written by a doctor named Luke, he quotes Jesus talking about a celebration in Heaven EVERY TIME a person trusts Jesus with his or her life. (Luke 15:1-10)
A party in Heaven! I wonder, what does a party look like in heaven?
I think it might be like that feeling you get when you just cannot stop smiling or when laughter flows uncontrollably from you. Imagine your mind is so clear and so free that all that matters is continued joy in the company of others with the exact same condition!
That’s what I think the party is like in Heaven when a person accepts Jesus as Savior.
In another part of the Bible, Jesus gives us a prayer. That prayer contains the words, “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Yeah, a celebration on Earth every time it happens. Let the party begin with you.
Doc Maranville is the co-founder of The 5 Smooth Stones, a community-supported, non-profit organization. For information or financial gifting visit www.the5smoothstones.org.