Walking with eyes open: meet a need, see more needs
Christmas Sale Friday and Saturday at Evangelical Free Church
SIDNEY -- Some ministries require living in a paradox of sorts: it is a blessing, but it is also stressing.
"I made a report at our District Assembly in Hastings, since we're a Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Center, we report every year. I made mention of the fact that, uh, it's the most rewarding ministry I've ever been a part of, but it's also the most dangerous because it puts my wife and I ... there's a lot of conflict. There's a lot of things that don't go the way you want them to go. We've never been more contentious in our 32 years of marriage than in these last two years," said Lee Eads.
Lee describes himself as kind of easy-going, giving people a second chance and then some, while his wife Sheri reaches a point where she's more business-like. It causes moments where they do not see all of the details in a situation from the same perspective. He says the redeeming factor is they do not make things happen.
"One that helps is, even all the way back to Table of Grace when we took it over six years ago, it was nothing that we forced to make work. It was The Lord opened the door and we stepped through it, and The Lord just continues to open doors an expand our territory, and this Kings Inn was again just an open door. Do we want it? Do we want to walk through that door? And we walked through that door," he said.
Eads said they know that what God calls them to do, He is faithful to supply the needs, "but he never said it would be easy."
Lee and Sheri Eads moved to Sidney a few years ago to minister at the Church of the Nazarene. Sheri then accepted the opportunity to take over the Table of Grace program.
Since coming to Sidney, they have become ministers at the Nazarene Church, direct the Table of Grace, started The King's Inn and he has been asked to serve as a jail and prison chaplain.
The King's Inn does have limited transitional housing. Participants in the program are required to seek employment and housing, and submit to random drug tests.
The service of Table of Grace has gone mobile, reaching smaller communities in the region. The mobile food pantry is made possible by a custom trailer built by Adams Industries and pickup truck, both funded by Sandhills Publishing, and Adams Industries. It is another example of an opportunity presenting itself, and they had to choose to walk through it, or not.
"We know that what God calls you to do, He's faithful to supply, but He never said it's going to be easy. There'd be persecution. There'd be rejection. There'd be turmoil, but He never has failed us yet," he said.
It is a calling in every sense of the word. The Eads admit the life they live is full of stress, but it is stress that came with the open door, stress they are confident God will guide them through.
They admit they can't do the many tasks themselves. The ministries they are involved in survive with volunteers.
"I don't have enough help. All my volunteers are 70 and older most of them. And I don't want to put that on them. That's a lot of work. We got to storage and bring all the Christmas stuff in. Then we've got to set it up and if something forgot to get priced, then we got to price it and ... I've got to have the store up the same time, plus I got the mobile pantry that Saturday. I've got all these pieces working together that it's just like 'Lord, I don't have enough help!'" said Sheri Eads.
The Christmas decoration sale is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. November 17 and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, November 18 at the E-Free Church in Sidney. All proceeds go toward the Bell Lumber matching grant challenge. Bell Lumber is matching up to $80,000 in donations through the end of 2023. For more information about volunteering or how to donate, contact the Eads at the Kings Inn motel in Sidney.