Steve Newcomb's Blog

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PROJECT SANDWICH - Jerusalem, Israel May 2013

THE SANDWICH PROJECT
“Roy? This is Jeff Shelton. You know the special event we are having for the Holocaust survivors on Wednesday? I have a plan to give them each a sandwich and bottle of water for their ride home after the event. There will be 1500. Do you think you could help out? It will be in 2 days.”
This phone call started Project Sandwich and an opportunity for us to participate in one our most unique ministry out reaches yet, even though it had nothing to do with our drama ministry.

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Snipping the end off of a lot of cucumbers!

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Slicking cucumbers

IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL
The circle of Christian leaders of various organizations in Israel are very familiar with one another, as we see more and more examples of one ministry helping another.
Our hosts, Roy and Mary Kendall, have been ministering in Israel for 23 years. Jeff Shelton is with a Helping Hands Coalition (www.hhcoaltion.com) As with many who minister in Israel, Jeff and his wife must leave Isreal periodically and return. Amazingly, on one of the trips Jeff and his wife made to their home in Oregon in 2009, they hosted our drama team for an over night stay!

Shelly is a friend of Roy and Mary who is a caterer. She had the expertise and connections to find the best prices and calculate quantities of supplies we needed. But because of a recent car accident, she was limited physically. So, our team came to the ready to provide the help she needed in preparing food

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Pickles sliced by Charlotte

PREPARATION AND PRODUCTION - PHASE 1 Tuesday
Tuesday was a shopping day. We also did some preliminary prep of slicing cucumbers and pickles. Tuesday night we made the first batch, 322 jam and butter sandwaches. We got a late start beause of other work in progress, so we finished at midnight.

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From left to right: Shelly, Linda Short, Mary Kendall, Ernie, Charlotte, Roy Kendall, Steve Short.

PRODUCTION - PHASE 2
Starting at 7am on Wednesday morning, we made a variety of sandwiches: cream cheese and cucumber, jelly and butter, and humus and salami with pickles. Our stations were divided into sandwich makers, sandwich cutters, sandwich wrappers, and sandwich counters/packers. The counters were a very important part of the process. We didn’t want to underproduce but we sure didn’t want to make more than we needed, especially as time passed.

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Holding the plastic wrap dispenser from lifting off the table. Painter’s tape rules!

We finished our last sandwich at 2pm followed by clean up and a short break before leaving for the event.

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The last sandwich of over 1500!

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Charlotte, our ‘shipping department’ manager, packing all our sandwiches into their travel containers packed with ice.

PLAN 1, PLAN 2, PLAN 3…

We arrived at the convention center with a plan in mind of how to distribute 1500 sandwiches to 30 busloads of people. But the plan to accomplish this changed by the hour, sometimes by the conversation. Where would the bused be now? It doesn’t matter, they are leaving and coming back. Can we set up tables near the buses? No. Can we stage the food in the convention center lobby near the exits from the auditorium? No, you need permission to bring the food in. Got the permissions. Now we have to get the food from the parking garage to the lobby as well as the water that is stored downstairs in a larger refrigerator. No carts were available to move the sandwiches. Do you know how much sandwiches weigh in groups of 300?

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BAG ‘EM, DANNO
We got the sandwiches to the lobby in just enough time to put them in bags so there were enough for each bus. Mission accomplished just in time.
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Yahuda, right, helping direct the leaders.

HERE THEY COME!
The final ‘plan’ was for a representative from each bus to come to our tables and pick up bags of sandwiches and water for their bus. Now, we have only 3 people who can communicate with the leaders coming including Yahuda, a Jewish gentleman who was part of the organizing group. At first, a manageable number came up and we were able to explain who needed what. But as more people saw piles of sandwiches and stacks of water, the harder it was to channel people to the 2 people who could explain who should take what. Were we handing bags to leaders or to indivduals? We wanted each person to get their food! But as it ended up, we did the best of what we had to work with.

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Ladies enjoying their sandwiches.

PERSEVERING TO REACHING THE GOAL
We distributed every sandwich and every bottle of water we had. They were prayed over that the recipients would understand that there are Christians who care about them. Not that we would be rewarded but that we could bless others.

This was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity, as the youngest holocaust survivors are in their 70’s. It was also a real ‘bonding’ experience for our team and absolutely a real first and a real honor to give a sandwich and water in the name of Jesus.

POSTSCRIPT The night after the event, Roy and Mary attended a social function. The main organizer of the holocaust event was also there and made a bee line to Roy and Mary. “We can’t thank you enough for the sandwiches. Of all the things they talked about, the sandwiches made the biggest impression.” The organizer was further amazed when he learned that our team made those sandwiches, not some catering service.
Posted 288 weeks ago

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