It was a time like none other in my life. Seeing students on their knees, one praying for another to receive Christ, was so common that students passing by on their way to classes didn’t even give the pair a glance. During the 1970 Spring Quarter, the Jesus Movement came to our secular university. Lives were changed as those new to the Christian walk received teaching from some phenomenal leaders in the faith. Our little church of 50 faithful members saw the pews stuffed to capacity, standing room only. Attendance now reached 200-250 every meeting time, not just on Sunday mornings. We all hungered for the Word of God.
Our young pastor was amazed that the Lord led so many prominent figures to come for conferences in the rather rustic-looking little sanctuary, but come they did. One long weekend the internationally well-known David du Plessis was the keynote speaker. From morning to night people packed the pews, to hear this dear, elderly man pour out to us what the Holy Spirit thought we should know right then.
Committed to practicing everything we were taught at the earliest opportunity, every Martha in the group decided to work on becoming a Mary. Yes, the assembled hoard of eager young people, and some not-so-young, needed to eat lunch, but why make it tons of work? We’d just serve hot dogs so we could stay for the entire session. Attendees could mingle outside for the few moments it would take to get the tables and food ready. We had no idea just what our Lord had planned for us in that kitchen.
While those not scheduled for lunch service scrambled to get outside, the rest of us circled for prayer near the small kitchen. The unified Amen was like the breaking of a huddle on a football field, each member darting to her assigned task.
”Dar, could you come in here just a moment?” Mrs. P. looked at me with furrowed brow, the corners of her mouth turned down. Whatever could be distressing this normally ebullient lady? “Uh, where are the other bags of chips? I can only find this one sack?” Seeing the single bag of potato chips she held in one hand, an empty serving bowl in the other, I realized I’d made a slight error in my assignment.
“Oh no, I forgot to tell the other students to bring a sack of chips, too.” Now, we had 79 cents worth of chips for greater than 200 people, more than half of whom were hungry university men. “Well, only one thing left to do, right? Should we pray for multiplication like the loaves and fishes?” Mrs. P grabbed a few ladies to come back inside the kitchen for prayer, their puzzled expressions mirroring my own uncertainty.
“No time to explain; just listen and agree with the prayer, ladies.” She nodded for me to begin.
“Lord, uh, I messed up here so no one else brought any chips.” A noticeable gasp escaped each lady in the circle. “I’m sorry I didn’t pay better attention to my job but, Lord, could you help us out here, please?” The hands holding mine squeezed a little encouragement for me to continue. “We need a multiplication of chips. We’d counted on them to fill up the guys. There’s enough hotdogs for more than 200, but You know the guys; they can eat a lot. We really need those chips, please. Thanks, God. Amen.”
“Okay, ladies, back to your jobs. We’ve got a lunch to serve out there.” Each lady responded to Mrs. P’s clapping hands, rushing back to their tasks. The leader grasped my shoulder. “It’ll be okay. If we don’t get more chips, we didn’t need them. Put this bowl out on the speaker’s table.” Mrs. P. had already begun pouring the chips in the first bowl.
When I returned to the kitchen, Mrs. P. handed me a full bowl. “This might be it; the bag is nearly empty. I took a peek and, sure enough, there was about an inch of chips in the bottom of the sack.
Each time I entered the kitchen, the grin on Mrs. P.’s face grew, eagerly anticipating the final outcome. A mound of chips capped each of the waiting bowls near her, yet there remained an inch in the bottom of the bag. After all had eaten their fill, the solitary bag was completely empty.
What a thrill to have God’s multiplication miracle in our own church kitchen!
Author’s Note: This is a true story from my Junior year.
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