If you’ve been following my Lenten Journey on this blog, you’ll know that today’s photo theme is “Help”. I thought it was a perfect time tell you about a fantastic ministry that we are helping to support here in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s called Loaves & Fishes, sponsored by the Bethesda United Methodist Church where our family has been worshiping for almost a year.
Some of you might already know that Bethesda Navel-Walter Reed National Medical Center, which treats injured soldiers, is located just a few miles from our house. Loaves & Fishes Ministry was born in the fall of 2010 when the people at BUMC decided to engage in an intentional outreach with wounded servicemen and women at Bethesda Naval Hospital/Walter Reed.
Loaves & Fishes is serving an important unmet need – providing food, fellowship and other assistance not only to recovering veterans, but also to their families. Due to the often extensive nature of their injuries, these young men and women are here at Bethesda Naval Hospital for six months, a year, or longer. And their families make incredible sacrifices to be here with them during that time. The Loaves & Fishes ministry provides important resources to these servicemen, servicewomen, and their families.
The BUMC congregation has been serving a monthly meal for patients, their families, and the staff for the last year now. And there are plans to expand the Loaves & Fishes Ministry in 2013 to include a ride program to help family members get off campus, and the program is planning to add an outreach to longer-term rehabilitation patients living in the new barracks at the hospital.
So what is our part in this? It’s kind of a Forrest Gump thing. Lloyd’s going to run. (I’m going to volunteer at one of the transition points).
Two teams with 12 runners each from Bethesda United Methodist are participating in a 200-mile relay from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC. You can learn more about the relay race at www.americanodysseyrelay.com. We start on Friday morning, April 26th, and run all night until we reach DC sometime on Saturday.
The goal is to raise $1,000 per runner. Every dime – 100 percent – raised in this effort goes directly to support the wounded soldiers and their families, and the church is providing receipts for those who want to them for next year’s taxes.
If you are interested in helping the Loaves & Fishes outreach, please just follow this link to the church’s online giving page. You will see a space to enter your donation to the Loaves and Fishes Ministry. In the field next to the donation amount, please make sure you type in “Lloyd Brown” so that your generosity will count toward his fundraising goal.
No gift is too small, and as I said above, 100 percent of donations are going to a great cause.
For several years Lloyd has been fortunate to train and run. He has finished four marathons, a few triathlons and ultra marathon relays. These have been fun and challenging – a true blessing to him and our whole family.
It is through the sacrifices of our service men and women that we are able to have the freedom to pursue these things. When Lloyd takes off on this relay in April, I know that he will be running with gratefulness in his heart. It will be an honor to do to this for a ministry that is serving those who have given so much for us.
Thank you for your support, and please let us thank you on behalf of the veterans and families that will be served by your support of the Loaves & Fishes ministry.
Abiding in Him,
Stephanie & Lloyd
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Romans 15:1, ESV