Delivering Meals and Hope to Chicago2 minute read

Compassion Baptist Church is a historic church. We’ve been here for almost 150 years, and God has blessed us to be a solid witness throughout a century and a half. It’s my joy to be able to see the church be led forward in that direction.

I am one of the co-founders of Chicago Delivers. This idea came about back in May when we heard news in a meeting with city officials that 71% of those who were dying from COVID-19 were African-American on the south and west side of Chicago. It had a lot to do with the fact that many African-Americans were considered essential workers, and many were packing stores to buy basic necessities.

We felt strongly that this is not good that people have to literally choose life or death to get food. I and a few other pastors in the city came together to brainstorm an idea of how we would come together to be able to serve people in our city on the south side and on the west side and then eventually into the south and west suburbs. We brainstormed this idea where we would connect with Instacart, because we were trying to protect ourselves as well as the lives of the people in our church from having to go out and buy groceries and therefore put other people at risk of potentially spreading a very virus that we’re trying to contain. We secured thousands of gift cards, and we were able to bless the lives of over 3,000 people over the span of about two months. It was through the support of churches around Chicago that gave deeply from their coffers to be able to help us to afford this effort. People’s lives were blessed. There were people who called us and said that this was their last meal, and they didn’t know where the next one was coming from. Because of Chicago Delivers we were able to see lives changed. We were able to demonstrate that there is a God, and that God deeply cares for us. It’s easy for me to say he cared enough to send Jesus, which is the most important truth, but we wanted to demonstrate that care by representing our lord and savior as the hands and feet.

Now Chicago Delivers has taken a different direction. We gave away meals that were ready-made, and we partnered with another organization to do that. Now we’ve shifted focus again, and my church specifically is focusing on providing meals or boxes of food to people in our community. Just last week we gave away 400 boxes. Our goal and my hope and prayer is to be able to give away boxes at least once a month throughout the thick dark part of this pandemic.

We believe it’s important for us to be able to say before our lord and savior Jesus Christ that when people were hungry, when he was hungry, we fed him. And then we will say, how did we feed you Jesus? How did we do it? He said, “What you’ve done to the least of these, you’ve also done unto me.” It is our service to try to serve people because it is, in essence, serving our master, and it is a testimony to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

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Paul Urban

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