EDITOR’S NOTE: Pastor Patrick Thompson tested positive for COVID-19 hours after Baptist Press posted this story.
LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. (BP) — Awaiting his coronavirus (COVID-19) test results, Long Island City, N.Y., pastor Patrick Thompson was self-quarantined at home with a sore throat and a 102-degree fever. But the LIC Relief ministry he co-founded before he took ill still was blessing many beyond his closed bedroom door.
As Thompson lay recovering, LIC (Long Island City) Relief volunteer Ebony delivered meals in the nearby Queens Bridge neighborhood to the Hour Children ministry helping formerly incarcerated women reconnect with their children.
“That group of women were in there praying because their normal delivery of food and stuff was lacking over that week,” Thompson told Baptist Press yesterday (March 25). “And they were praying, ‘Well God, where are we going to get a meal tonight?’ And Ebony shows up with 45 meals and she said they were all in tears. Now we’re bringing dinner to them on a regular basis.”
From the state of Georgia, a woman contacted LIC Relief seeking help for her elderly handicapped parents in New York City who were unable to leave their housing development for food.
“That day we were able to go deliver them groceries and meals,” Thompson said. “It’s been quite a journey, and it’s been quite a beautiful testimony of the Gospel, to me, of being the hands and feet of Christ where there’s a need, without an expectation of a response.”
Thompson, pastor of New City Church in Long Island City, cofounded LIC Relief with area Parent Teacher Association leader Kelly Craig just days ago. Craig was concerned that school children who depended on meal service at school would go hungry because schools are closed during the pandemic. The two called on community leaders and organizations to collaborate March 16.
The result is LIC Relief, focused on collecting non-perishable food for food pantries in Western Queens, preparing weekly grab-and-go meals for students and others in need, building a database of ready volunteers, collecting financial support to fund LIC Relief efforts and supporting the local economy. LIC Relief raised $35,000 in its first 10 days and recruited 120 volunteers, Thompson said.
“We have seven restaurants that are preparing meals for $5 a piece that our organization pays them to do. So the meals are free to anybody who wants to come pick them up,” Thompson said. “And so we’re now producing 500 meals a day from locally owned restaurants and weekly putting about $13,000 back into the economy of our local restaurants to keep them open during this time. … It’s been phenomenal. I can’t even explain. I was planning on Monday being out delivering meals, and I haven’t been able to do that.”
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Source: Baptist Press