The Miracle of Giving -- Community Helps Local Church with Donations to Iraq

May 21, 2003 05:50 PM EDT

FARGO, N.D. – The miracle of giving surrounded the Temple Baptist Church as they prepared boxes of food for hungry families in Iraq. With the help of the community members outside the church, the 100-member congregation’s initial goal of 25 boxes multiplied to 181.

"God intervened," said James Sabot, development director for South Valley Baptist Association. "I made a few calls to local producers and growers, and they responded generously."

According to Sabot, the 2,500 pounds of flour donated by the flour-grinding mill in Grand Forks ignited the flame of the miracle. Though it is hard to convince producers to help with a giving program because so many people and organizations already ask for gifts, producers and growers donated about 80 percent of the total food count.

Monetary gifts used to purchase additional food brought the total to 12,000 pounds of product.

"That's over $10,000 worth of food," Sabot said.

Thirty people from the Forges N.D community came to the church to help pack and load the 181 boxes, May 17. The Fargo-Moorhead area of North Dakota numbers 200,000 in population, with Baptists comprising a small part of the Christian community, Sabot commented. "People just wanted to help," he said.

Three local television stations and the local newspaper were present Saturday and reported on the churches' efforts.

Sabot summed up the whole event as an "amazing continuation of God at work."

By Pauline J.