‘Miracles’ continue at Midway Baptist

By Nicole Daughhetee
Staff Reporter

Standing in my boss’ office, I noticed an ordinary sheet of paper tacked to his wall, yet it was the profound sentiment leaping off the page that caused me to take a second look: “When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.” Minutes later, back in my office, the phone rang.
When I answered, Tracey James from Midway Baptist Church was on the other end of the line asking how she could go about sending in an editorial follow-up to the story we had run the week prior. Pencil in hand, I asked her to tell me what was going on.
As you may well remember, James coordinates the Thursday Meal Ministry at Midway Baptist Church. Their ministry provides hot meals to members of the Midway and Pickens County communities who are unable to get around or who have little to no income. On Friday, December 17, James arrived at her church to begin preparing meals when she noticed that more than $1,000 worth of food had been stolen from the freezers outside the church fellowship hall.
With hesitation, James contacted the local news media and the rest is, as they say, history. The Thursday Meal Ministry has exploded. Not only was the church ministry able to provide Christmas meals, they were able to provide 49 families in Pickens County with groceries that would feed their families for a week.
“After you had taken your pictures and left, an 18-wheeler with 80 pallets of food pulled into our parking lot,” said James. “In addition to the food, community members and church Sunday School classes got together to make sure that children would have gifts to open on Christmas morning.”
Thursday Meals Ministry has received an outpouring of help and support from the people of Pickens County and from others as far away as North Carolina, Georgia and Greenville. “I am constantly amazed and humbled by the generosity of people. Businesses like Bi-Lo, Ingles and Ultra Tan have given us incredible donations. One couple from Greenville sent us a check for $2500 dollars. But what really touches my heart are the $10 gifts we receive from people who only have $10 to give, but who desire to help someone else,” said James.
James and the members of Midway Baptist Church see this miracle as simply the beginning of something larger. The need for warmth, shelter, food and clothing is so great, and James wants to be able to help people more often than on major holidays. She has been praying for a fully operational food pantry at her church for the past four years and believes her prayers are being answered. All the logistics of the food pantry are still being finalized, but the end goal is to have a pantry open on day a week where those in need can come and stock up on food. Volunteers will be enlisted to help those who cannot come to the church themselves.
“I called the Sherriff’s office to see if they had any leads on the people who stole the food out the freezer and to tell them that even if those people were caught, I am not interested in pressing charges. I just think about how desperate those people had to be to take that food, and I think that they are probably still in need but too ashamed to come here for help,” said James. “Those people have no idea how their action brought a huge blessing to this ministry and to the people of Pickens County.”
In addition to all the food and basic need (diapers, wipes, formula, soap, shampoo, etc.) that Midway has received, they have also gotten enough clothing items to hold a clothing closet for those in need of warm winter clothing. On Friday, December 31, Midway Baptist will open its fellowship hall from the hours of 10am to 4pm, for people in need of winter clothing. While they have had many donations, they can always use more. Specifically, James said they are in need of men’s clothing in size 4XL and women’s clothing in size 2XL. Blankets, mittens, hats, socks – any donations are welcome. Those interested in donation gently used or new clothing items can contact Tracey James at 878-1550.
Tracey James remains in awe over everything that has happened in the last few weeks. She has never experienced so many miracles and is amazed by how one negative event has ushered in such abundant blessings. “I told my husband the other night that this is the best Christmas I have ever had just knowing how amazing it is that so many children will be able to eat breakfast – not just dinner – with their families on Christmas Day.”
Perhaps it is true that when we are down to nothing, God is up to something.