Monday, November 24, 2008

Oodles of Noodles and So Much More

Jehovah-Jireh, our provider, is true to His words when He says that He will supply all our needs. As the cost of our adoption has risen more than we could have dreamed of, our faith continues to be tested. I often think how great it would be if we had enough money just sitting in the bank that we could write out the necessary checks when they came due, that we never had to look for creative ways to make additional money, that we never had to turn to others for help. I then hear God’s voice say “Then where would the faith be?” As we have said so many times before, this is a journey of faith. We have this mountain in front of us and I know that God will supply that need. I also know that He could provide every last cent of it in the mail tomorrow if He wanted to, but I understand this is our journey of faith. I believe that it must be God’s will that He chip away at that mountain little by little so that we can continue to exercise our faith.

I saw God’s almighty hand at work up close and personal this weekend. Several weeks ago our small group from church said that they would like to come along beside us in helping raise the money needed to bring Emma home. We were touch by the fact that they love us so much they want to share this burden with us. Thus the concept of “Good Eats for Emma” was developed. As we were approaching the Thanksgiving season we thought about how we could provide homemade food items to our family, co-workers, and our neighbors. We thought that perhaps we could make their Thanksgiving a little easier. Thanks to Kyle and Katie we had a great recipe for homemade noodles and a tasty cheese ball; and for something sweet we could offer Ann’s mom’s delicious pumpkin bread. What a hit!

From the very beginning Matt and I prayed that the Lord would work and bless in our efforts. I prayed that God would give us a boldness to sell like we have never sold before. I also prayed that God would simply knock our socks off. Ladies and gentlemen let me tell you that God heard and He did indeed knock my socks off. Get ready for this; we sold 75 orders of noodle, which is 150 batches, 41 cheese balls, 41 large loaves of pumpkin bread and 15 small loaves of pumpkin bread. WOW!!!

Much work went on behind the scene to plan out how we were going to accomplish such a large task. With such large orders we realized that we had some challenges that we needed God’s help with. One challenge we faced was where in the world could we have enough space to dry out 150 batches of noodles. The key to the noodles is drying time. Well, God provided, through a relative of Jonathan and Ann, two large industrial rolling racks with large jelly roll pans. John and Sherry offered up their home for the noodle process and thus The Noodle Hut was established. (Again, sorry guys for getting flour everywhere.)

The big day quickly approached, Saturday, November 24. We all gathered at The Noodle Hut bright and early to begin the day. A little learning curve was needed but we all pitched in and by 1:30 we were off to the next location to complete the remaining task. Now here’s where another challenge came in; how can we possibly bake so many loaves of bread when there is an hour of cooking time and then there’s the cooling time before we can even package the bread. Again, the Lord heard our prayers and Ann’s mom so generously offered up her kitchen, which has one conventional oven and two convection ovens. So after leaving The Noodle Hut we proceeded to Nancy’s House of Breads (and cheese ball factory). The day continued to run fairly smooth and we wrapped up the cheese balls and most of the bread by around 6:30. Thanks again to Nancy, Jonathan and Ann for staying behind to finish the last few loaves of bread, thus allowing us with little ones to get them home and in to bed.

Finally, we are down to the last step in this cooking process and that would be the packaging of the noodles. So, on Sunday we headed back to The Noodle Hut to finish this gigantic task. We lay out all our supplies and pull off the first rack of noodles and our biggest fear is realized… the noodles are not dry. Oh no, what are we going to do. Our human nature kicks in and we start devising a plan on how we can fix this and making plans to come back the following day perhaps to do the packaging. Upon further inspection of all the racks we noticed some batches were dry and some were not, probably about half and half. We went ahead and started packaging the dried batches as our little minds raced for an answer to our problem. Finally, John spoke up and suggested we take this need to God. After all, we have seen God work through this whole process and nothing is too big or too small for God. By moving the racks to another location and removing some of the trays to allow for more air flow, it wasn’t long before we had a few more batches to bag. We would take a snack break, check noodles for dryness and then bag a few more batches and continue this process until we filled the very last bag. Even with this little glitch, or what could have been a big glitch, we were able to leave The Noodle Hut pretty much on schedule. Can I just say Yippee Jesus!!!

I know this is a rather lengthy account of the Good Eats for Emma endeavor but I want to record as many of the detail as I can so that I always remember exactly where God worked. God raised up this opportunity through a small group of tremendous friends and He worked in every step all along the way, from the sales, to supply contributions, to donations, to the food preparation, God was there. I want Him, Jehovah-Jireh, to receive all the honor and glory due.

My final prayer is that these items will go on to bless those who will receive them, those who invested in the life of an orphan.

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

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