Readers of Whatever He Says know that a pie baking adventure began last November, in order to raise the last $1000 needed for a project we were sponsoring at work; a modest guest house for visiting workers, in South Sudan.
We didn't know then that war would break out in South Sudan on December 13, and that the compound surrounding the guest house would be swamped by thousands of desperate people seeking safety; but God did, that goes without saying; and some of the support that would be needed was going to be through someone who'd heard him say, "Bake pies." And she would be helped by a circle of friends who donated resources of pie ingredients, pie boxes and time and energy.
So far we've raised almost $4000 for South Sudan through the pies--that's 200 pies at $20 each. Everyone who has bought one is a helper through giving .We have received so much joy in working together to make a difference for a people in desperate need of help; all because God compelled us to do something simple to help.
And the adventure continues. Last Saturday I was looking for gravy mix at the grocery store. Next to me stood a short stocky man with a shaved head, wearing tee shirt and shorts and holding a package of ground beef. He grabbed a couple of packages of chili seasoning mix and proceeded to tell me that he makes amazing chili with this mix and a couple of cans of white and red beans. I was amazed, thinking about my shelves of spices and recipes.
"Yes," he said, "When I go to the trailer, everyone brings me their meat and I make the chili. It's amazing."
As he walked away down the aisle, I blurted out, "I make pie!"
He turned around, with eyes alight. He said, "I love apple pie--I'll pay $10 or $15 for a good apple pie."
I said that mine was $20 and he said, "I'll pay anything for a good apple pie. Where can I get one? Do you have a card?"
As I was fishing for one of my work cards, he said his name was Joe, and that he'd just opened the new ice cream store in town. He said, "Drop off the card at the store."
That night I went home and made cards and set up an email address where people could order pies. The cards said, "Made with love and obsessive perfection to make a difference in the world." I dropped the card off at the store the next day. The woman serving the ice cream nodded and smiled when I told her it was for Joe.
This Saturday morning I was at my hairdresser, Gravity Salon, and as Ivo, the owner showed me to a chair, I asked him if he'd liked the pies he ordered for his Christmas parties. He said, "Oh my goodness, they were amazing. Let me know when you're making more and I'll order some." I gave him one of my new cards, and took an order then and there for four pies. When he said he had a dinner party that evening, I went home and got them done right away and drove back up the highway to Barrie, to deliver them for 4.00 when the salon was closing.
Ivo generously paid 25.00 each for his four pies. He had just been telling his last customer about what happened before Christmas when I met someone at the salon, who donated a 40 pound box of the best Northern Spy apples to the cause, I wrote about that in a post called, I Could Not Make this Up. His customer took one of my cards!
Ivo asked me, "Do you have your website up?"
I said, "No, I don't have a website, maybe I should make one."
Ivo gave me his card and said, "Write something about what you're doing and send it to me. I'll put it on my website, and put a link to your Facebook page. How many orders can you handle?"
"Well, I don't like to set a limit," I said. And I don't. This has always been a kind of holy endeavour if baking pies qualifies as such a thing, and setting a limit feels like limiting God--and I know that isn't a good idea. So he's leading and I'm following with my friends and loving being part of his unfolding plan.