In the book of Genesis, God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. So, in obedience, Abraham binds Isaac and places him on the altar. At that time, God provided a ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac and Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh, meaning the Lord will provide, or the Lord will see to it.
A little over a year ago, God told Kevin Cornette, pastor of Mays Lick Baptist Church, that they should start a feeding ministry to address the hunger needs of those living in the area. Believing that God would provide, Kevin led the church to begin Jehovah Jireh’s House, a food ministry that now serves over 500 homes in 4 counties. What began with a couple of chest freezers and a few boxes of food has grown to many pallets of food that require 14 chest freezers, a large walk-in freezer, a box truck, flat-bed trailer, and a forklift. And the Lord provided it all! The ministry has grown to the point that Jehovah Jireh’s House has become a cooperative effort of multiple churches requiring an average of 100 volunteers on each distribution day.
Poverty in Mason and surrounding counties is higher than the state’s average of 17%. One-third of those coming through Jehovah Jireh’s House live in neighboring Lewis County, which has a 26% poverty rate. Kevin shared that 58% of those coming through Jehovah Jireh’s House were grandparents raising their grandchildren.
The church sees Jehovah Jireh’s House as a reservoir. The Lord provides the food, they distribute all that they have and the Lord fills it back up again. Pastor Kevin shared that “we serve everyone, no matter where they live, because the Lord has brought them to us for a reason. One of the primary reasons is because people are spiritually hungry too!” The church has baptized six people as a result of the ministry and one family reached through Jehovah Jireh’s House now volunteers on distribution days.
I visited Mays Lick on one of the recent distribution days and was amazed to see how smoothly the entire operation went. Hundreds of people registered and heard the gospel clearly presented before walking through the distribution “store” to fill up their grocery carts with food, personal hygiene items, fresh vegetables and paper products. Each person walking through Jehovah Jireh’s House is accompanied by a church member who shepherds them through the process, talking with them and helping them to load their cart.
Then, additional volunteers help each family to load their vehicle with the items in their grocery cart. While the value of the items in the grocery cart are approximately $125, the cost to the ministry is only pennies on the dollar because again, the Lord provides. They procure the items distributed from two major sources and many individuals and churches.
God was faithful to provide what Abraham needed and He has been faithful to Mays Lick to provide everything they need as well. But before God provided for Abraham, he had to hear God and respond obediently. The same was true for Mays Lick and is true for us. If we want to witness God’s provision, we must first hear from Him and respond obediently to what He says.