Mysterious Ways: Proof of God's Provision

We didn't know what to do with the donation we received. God knew, though.

Posted in , Oct 22, 2013

close-up of cereal.

One-hundred-ninety-three boxes of cereal filled up the storage room of the Canby Center, the Christian community outreach organization and food pantry where my husband serves as director and I volunteer. Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Wheaties, Raisin Bran, Life, Honey Bunches of Oats, every cereal you could think of.

They’d arrived Monday morning by truck, brought to us by the cheerful manager of the Burgerville franchise nearby. “Our cereal box drive was a great success,” he declared. He’d offered a free milkshake to anyone who participated.

My husband thanked him for the generous donation, but as nice as it was, I worried it was a waste. How would we ever distribute so many boxes?

“Be grateful,” my husband told me. “God will show us what to do with them.”

We’re always looking for food donations, but non-perishable items. Canned goods, mostly. We hadn’t asked Burgerville to do the cereal box drive—it had been initiated by another Oregon food bank that sometimes partnered with us.

Instead, I wished they could have collected money for us to put towards our job training programs or our rental assistance fund. That could go a long way in helping the people in need who came to us daily. I wasn’t sure what help cereal would prove to be.

“Well, maybe the cereal can be snacks for our afterschool program,” I suggested, as if that would put a dent in the supply.

Two days later, my husband received an email from a teacher at a nearby public school that matriculated many at-risk kids who came from impoverished homes. “Come take a look, hon,” he said.

“Students on the free meal program aren’t getting enough to eat,” the teacher wrote. Kids were arriving at school without having eaten anything at home.  “Lunches are pre-portioned and we have nothing else to feed them.

"Is there any way the Canby center can provide breakfast items for the remainder of the school year?”

My husband smiled at me. “I think I know where we can find 193 boxes of cereal.”

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