More in Our Work
This is Praise Harvest
Our Work Video
May 30

This is Praise Harvest

In Evansville, IN, People of Praise members have turned vacant lots into an urban farm that produces thousands of pounds of vegetables each year for their neighborhood.

In Allendale, Holiday Hams Arrive on Time

By Chris Meehan

The Tuesday before Christmas, Patti Deakin looked out her window in Allendale and discovered a man dropping off some heavy boxes on the front porch of the house next door. Patti went over and found seven packages, each containing ham, vegetables, fruit, potatoes and cookies, enough food to serve as Christmas dinner for a family of six.

The food came from the youth group at the Catholic parish some of the community members in Allendale attend. The same church had given the Allendale Christians in Mission team some Turkey dinners at Thanksgiving, but Patti says, “we had no idea there would be food to distribute this Christmas.” Patti, her husband Gerry and Nathan Barrett talked about whom they might give them to, and they quickly came up with six names. “Since Christmas comes at the end of the month, many Allendale residents were low on food stamps, and these gifts were much appreciated,” Patti says.

They needed a seventh name, and Gerry thought of Karl, a disabled vet who frequently rides his bicycle down Yale Avenue. Though Gerry saw Karl frequently, his personality had remained something of a mystery. It had taken Gerry more than a year even to learn his name. Then, bit by bit, Gerry had pieced together some of his story. He was a former drug addict who earned money by doing yardwork. He was also trying to help his wife get through a 90-day program to overcome her own drug addiction. But Gerry didn’t know where Karl lived, or if he had a stove to cook the food or a refrigerator to store it in.

The next day Karl knocked on Gerry’s door and Gerry asked him if he had a working stove and refrigerator. He did, so Gerry offered him the food. Karl’s eyes grew big and he gave a wide grin.

“Nobody ever does that for me, Mr. Gerry,” he said.

“But the Lord is going to do it for you today!” Gerry replied.


  1. Jim Sgroi says:

    What a witness of Christian love, care and friendship. Thanks for being Christ to the Allendale community and representing us all so well.

  2. Karen Saverine says:

    It is heartwarming to hear of the good that's being done in Allendale. But then, after spending time in a women's group with Patti in Colorado Springs, experiencing their hospitality to me and my husband while we were engaged, and getting to know Gerry better, that's exactly what I would expect. I'm sure the rest of the team lives up to the standards that the Deakins set.

  3. Therese McNichol says:

    What a wonderful Christmas story! It warmed my heart just reading it.

  4. Frances Gauthier says:

    God bless all the Allendale "missionaries". We love you and appreciate you!

  5. Pat Flynn says:

    You showed once again how our loving Father cares for the downtrodden and brokenhearted. Praise God!

  6. Ann Thomas says:

    Thank you for your work I give glory to our Father, May our Lord bless each of you richly

  7. Barbette Brophy says:

    God bless you all. Your work so blesses Him!!!

  8. Geoff & Sue Kelleher says:

    That sounds like the Deakins we've known and loved since 1978. Keep on serving as Jesus served.

  9. Dan Gonzalez says:

    A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Your people Israel.

  10. Jo Zimmel says:

    Wow. What a witness you all are in Allendale to how much God has a special love for all his people. Great to hear how God is working.

  11. Karen Heintzelman says:

    Having visited the Deakins, I can picture this whole story! May God continue to provide so abundantly for you. I miss you all!

  12. Kim & Bruce Doffing says:

    Speak to us Lord we are listening. Guide us Lord we are your servants. Thank You for this beautiful story of God's tender love!

  13. Bruce Wansart says:

    I like it.----God has all the time in the world. Even if, a relationship, takes time to unravel such as the man on the bikes did, spiritual grace is building.

    I love to see perserverance in a Christians.


Leave a Response