Every year, Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana shuts its doors, cancels its services and sends its congregation out to do service projects all over the city.  This year, World Next Door sent a team of volunteer journalists from Grace’s congregation to tell some of the stories from the weekend.

This is one of those stories.

To read all of the Weekend of Service articles from 2011, click here.


By Nathan Sanchez

Where would I meet God during this experience?  I knew that Meals on Wheels was a very vital organization, but where was my story? The task was tediously simple; deliver meals to our designated recipients, who cannot fix meals for themselves. Our meals on this day were not regular meals, they were pre-packaged, emergency meals used for when MOW cannot get out due to hazardous conditions.

The Grace team prepares for food delivery.

Our team was also a “surprise” to the ones we were serving because MOW normally delivers on weekdays. So it was extra important for us to have big smiles on our faces, for the fact that we were not expected this afternoon.

Tediously following the route sheet.

The groups met up at Riverview Hospital where they were

briefed and given the meals to deliver for the day. I saw much anticipation coming from the Grace team; they looked excited and ready to serve.

After gathering up the food for our routes, my team loaded up. Jan, the team leader, her son and I hit the road! We are now officially Meals on


We had our route list and we were on our way to our first stop. I was simply excited to give who ever needed it a smile and present them with a much needed meal. At the first house we were greeted by a kind, elderly lady who

was very happy to see us. She was pleasantly pleased that we were there on a Saturday and thanked us for the kind gesture with a soft smile. Just like that, one stop done!

It was very rewarding for me to see that we brought a little bit of joy to her day.

Houses two and three were a little more disappointing because no one was home. We left the meals on the porches with notes describing what they were and that they were brought to them by Grace Community Church.

This next house was going to be a guaranteed hit for the fact that MOW had already called ahead and made sure he was home. When we arrived we knocked on the door and used the signature call “Meals on Wheels!” and walked in.  He was already waiting for us, sitting contently on his recliner. He gave us a big grin and introduced himself. His name was Milford Pearson and right off the bat he was quite the talker.

Milford sharing his stories.

Milford was very smart, and explained his thoughts very thoroughly. We didn’t get much talking in at all! That’s why Meals on Wheels is here and that’s why we worked alongside them last weekend.  We need to care and listen to the people that need it. Milford got the chance to talk to someone that day, and we had the blessing of listening to him. This is the ministry of presence, just being there for the individual. To listen to them and give them company.

The past two mission trips I have been on expressed the motto, “Listen. Love. Serve.” Listen comes first because we cannot know how to properly Love and Serve without Listening first. Listening gives us peace and draws us closer to God.

Milford was great! He was so clever and knowledgeable. When I shared with him what our church was doing that weekend he said, “Oh, that’s just beautiful.” He loved the concept of everyone helping everyone. Milford made me smile the whole time I was there and I am graced to have met someone as kind as him. Oh yeah, Milford is 95 years young and still going strong.

The pre-packaged meals to be delivered.

With that our journey continued on into suburbs of Noblesville, Indiana. The next stop was a very generous lady that offered us candy in exchange for the food. She was delighted to see us and was very grateful for us. She explained how much she loved MOW. This organization truly affects people. MOW makes life so much easier for the people who need it.

Our next stops were not too exciting. We said hello to a couple of people but mainly left the meals at the door, due to the people not being home. Our last stop was an elderly couple living together who received their meals with looks of great happiness proudly displayed on their faces.

One word for everyone we talked to…grateful. I was grateful to have met the people I served and they were grateful for us and the service we provided. I pray that God will give them the rest they need and that He will watch over them day by day. I do know that their lives get brighter every time they hear, “Meals on Wheels!”

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About the Author: Every year, Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana shuts its doors, cancels its services and sends its congregation out to do service projects all over the city. This team of volunteer journalists from Grace’s congregation told some of the stories from the weekend.

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  1. Jim.M said... 


    November 11th, 2011 at 11:53 pm  

    “When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink…And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to visit you…?”

    Nathan, what a wonderful reminder of this truth.

    Great story of The Kingdom breaking into the world right here, right now, and just up the road. Thanks!!


  2. Laura Stump said... 


    November 13th, 2011 at 7:24 am  

    Nathan–I loved reading about Milford. I think you’re dead on with your wisdom about listening–it’s a lost art form! We have so much to learn from being in communion with one another, and listening is critical.

  3. Barry Rodriguez said... 


    November 14th, 2011 at 3:21 pm  

    Very cool thoughts about the “ministry of presence.” In the end, you can talk and serve and give, but the most important thing you can do is simply be there for someone. Great work, dude!

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