There are a lot of great things happening at Oak Park. One of those great things is our weekly investment in the Jeffersonville High School Football Team. Several years ago a friend of mine named Chris Morgan, who works with FCA of Louisville, approached me and wanted to know if we would be willing to feed the football team every week and essentially become their chaplain. Without reservation and without talking to any committees (I may have done this a time or too!) I enthusiastically said YES! The weightiness of my “yes” hit home when I realized it would cost about $500/week to make this happen. Plus, there’s at least 9 games, not including if they made the playoffs. For those who went to UL that’s $4,500!
This year marks the third year where we’ve been feeding almost 100 players and coaches. It’s been pretty awesome to get to know some of the players and coaches (Coach Lonnie, Jermaine, Bernie, Greg and players like Thymon, Hines, Daulton, Amil, Dana, etc.) and we’re weekly praying that seeds of the gospel will be planted in their hearts! In fact, every Wednesday afternoon Chase Sears and I have the privilege of sharing a short, gospel-focused devotion with them. To date, we’ve discussed creation, rebellion, ownership and accountability all with the aim of pointing to the person and work of Jesus.
Here are some pictures of the team:
A joy that has been mine (and many others) for the last three years has been seeing men and women in the church step up and make certain things happen. How many people does it take to get ready for almost 100 players and coaches? A lot! But there is one lady in particular who leads the way with this particular ministry opportunity. Her name is Mary Wallace. Every church should have a Mary Wallace – we are blessed in fact to have several ladies like her (Amy Heavner, Linda Johnson and many others). Every week she purchases food, preps the food and cooks the food. But like any good leader and servant she doesn’t hoard all the service responsibilities to herself, she gives them away. It’s a blessing and a joy to see her delegating responsibilities and overseeing this ministry…and she does it well! We’re not talking about hot dogs and chips but roast beef, mashed potatoes, chicken, pasta dishes, desserts, etc. She has used her gift of hospitality in a way that makes King Jesus smile and blesses the mess out of the coaches and players of the Jeffersonville High School Football Team.
Mary, as well as the team that makes Friday night meals happen, I want you to know that your church family loves you, your pastors love you and we are thankful for your service to Jesus, our church and the community at-large and proud to have you guys represent our church so well.
With deep appreciation and gratitude,