By Scott W. Rosekrans

We have magic beans. And, no, we didn’t trade our piano to get these magic beans. Like many churches, we actively support our local food banks with donations of food, cash, and other items. In doing so, we’ve stumbled into another opportunity to help the food bank serve their clients.

The food banks get a lot of beans in bulk, which is excellent. But the problem is that few of the clients want beans in bulk, especially if they live alone. Out of this problem of overabundance, we came up with a novel idea.

The food bank gives us their beans, and we make individual packets of beans for soup. We mix the several types of beans and add in a spice packet. Our local food co-op sells us the spices at cost. We include a bean soup recipe and instructions on how to cook them. We get together for bean soup-making parties, and our last two endeavors have produced over four hundred individual bags of soup.

We distribute our bags to three of the four food banks in Jefferson County, and they can’t keep them on the shelves. I had an elderly couple in the office recently seeking some assistance. After we visited and addressed their financial issue, I offered them a bag of soup mix. His eyes lit up, and he exclaimed that he had gotten some at the food bank, and it sure was good.

What we’ve come to learn is that God will send your church the people and supplies necessary so you can meet the needs of God’s neglected and underserved children so that you can give them this day their daily bread.

It’s not what we think you need; it’s what you know you need. We’ve discovered that if we ask the food banks and others what it is they need, they will gladly tell us. We bring the request back to our congregation and out of nowhere, the resources appear.

If you’re looking for an extremely low-cost mission, this is it. Our out-of-pocket costs are the Zip-Lock bags, the spices and the paper for the recipe. What you receive in return is priceless.

See, the beans really are magical.

Scott Rosekrans serves as pastor to the people of Community United Methodist Church in Port Hadlock, Washington.

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