Soul Keeping: Part 1

Gleaning Corn


Last Thursday several men in my men’s group and I joined with others to glean corn. The head of Asbury’s gleaning projects is Mary Lynn Botts, who is on the staff of the Society of St. Andrew and a member of Asbury. The Society of St. Andrew is a grassroots, faith-based, hunger relief nonprofit working with all denominations to bridge the hunger gap between 96 billion pounds of food wasted every year in the United States and the nearly 40 million Americans who live in poverty.

This was a wonderful and diverse group of gleaners. We had two homeless men, one of whom is in one of the camps to which Asbury takes meals; a youth who participates in ChristFit (a group of young volunteers that are part of Empire Fitness); one volunteer from Huntsville First Methodist; two that represented the agencies that received corn; and the remainder were from Asbury.

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Here were the results:

We harvested Total 3,179 pounds! The Society of St. Andrew says that there are three servings per pound so that would be a little over 9,500 servings that were picked in about two hours by 20 volunteers. The following agencies and feeding ministries that received the corn are: Downtown Rescue Mission (700 lbs.), Manna House (800 lbs.), Food Bank of N. AL. (700 lbs.), Limestone County Churches Involved (604 lbs.), Dependable Hands Ministry (340 lbs.) and Asbury Tent City Ministry (35 lbs.).

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Did you know that our scriptures are full of examples of farmers allowing the poor, the foreigner, the widow, etc. to glean fields? The most compelling story is the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Our Lord Jesus, himself, had as an ancestor, Ruth, who survived by gleaning and eventually married the owner of the land, Boaz.

There are many more people than you might imagine who live with hunger, even in our own region. I am so grateful to be part of a church that understands the importance of this ministry of practical compassion.

This was the first time that I have been working with our gleaners. We have a very faithful group from Asbury who glean on a regular basis. They are always looking for others to join them. If you are interested, please contact Mary Lynn Botts at

Thank you so much my friends,