Jill Goad

All Things Feed Lake Highlands

Dear Feed Lake Highlands friends,

Do you agree that change is both difficult and good at the same time?  New ways of doing things stretch and grow us. In wanting to expand our outreach and impact in the neighborhood, we must be willing to step outside our comfort zone.  Change is coming to Feed Lake Highlands.

I want to spend a minute praising God for all He has done in creating the ministry of FLH.  God - You are Faithful and constant in all You do through FLH – You never leave us on our own to make decisions for how to “feed Your sheep”.  You are the Provider of all the resources we need – we know that You have sent those who are serving as Your hands and feet to feed our hungry neighbors.  And we know that all we have and need in order to feed others - our physical food, educational resources, financial donations, gently used furniture, toys, and clothes - has come from You.  You are the Healer of all the broken people who walk through the door at the New Room.  You are our Living Hope.

I want to spend a minute thanking God for each one of you and your support of all things FLH.  We have always said – Hunger is a community problem, and it requires a community solution.  We believe that and I know you do also – your actions and your heart say that every day.  We could not make the impact FLH is having in our community without each one of you!  You have heard the cry of those who hunger in our community and you are responding to it with your gifts of time, energy, enthusiasm, smiles, encouraging words, financial gifts, prayers, ideas, hard work, and spreading the word about FLH!  The extravagant generosity of our community is a gift from God and I am so very thankful for each one of you. Thank you God.

Twenty years ago next month, I was hired by Lake Highlands UMC to serve on the Outreach team and go out into the community to share the love of God and establish worshipping congregations within apartment communities.  Ten years ago, we recognized that our neighbors were hungry for physical food, and we heard God’s call to begin a new ministry – Feed Lake Highlands.  I was given the privilege to serve as the director and cast a vision for what could be done in this battle against hunger.  Our mission was to Feed the Body, Mind, and Soul of our neighbors who hunger for more and our battle cry became – Fight Hunger and Feed Hope!  What an amazing journey we have taken through the years – from feeding 14 families (51 people) on one Wednesday in February 2012 to feeding 334 families (1017 people) on four Wednesdays in September 2022.  We have learned so much about hunger and how it affects us.  Not just physical hunger, but all kinds of hunger – for resources, experiences, and relationships.  We have learned so much about the choices and the consequences of those choices that our neighbors living in poverty are faced with daily.  We have grown in our love for all of God’s people as we have learned about them and ourselves.

My passion is preaching and teaching the Word of God!  It took me a very long time to come and sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His voice.  I have a fire that burns within me to do things that lead people to God.  And I don’t want anyone to miss out on meeting Him at the table of love and grace.  Twenty years ago, I was blessed beyond my wildest expectations to serve on the Outreach team and meet people hungry to learn about God.  It is such a joy to follow Jesus in obedience even when it doesn't seem to make sense.  He does indeed equip us when He calls us and for the past ten years, it has been an honor leading FLH.  As a staff and board, we have been asking ourselves throughout 2022 – How can we feed more people and How can we feed people more?  I sincerely believe that part of God’s answer to that question is new executive leadership for FLH.  I believe God is revealing ways for us to reach more people and feed them more nourishment.  They are exciting and creative ways to feed the body, mind, and soul of our neighbors and we get pumped up talking about them. I believe God is calling someone new to take us into the next 10 years and beyond. I clearly hear God calling me back to Outreach to focus on feeding the soul and providing spiritual nourishment.

I have shared with our staff and board that I am retiring from serving as ED of Feed Lake Highlands on December 31 and will serve part-time with Outreach. I will remain a part of FLH through the work of Outreach and New Room church and all the ways we can feed people the Word of God.  Going part-time allows me family time to visit my 6 grandsons and their parents in CT, TN, and TX.  It also gives me the opportunity to volunteer at food distribution, book mobile, and in the schools with our tutoring programs.  My heart is with all things FLH and always will be!  I am committed to feeding the body, mind, and soul of our neighbors.  I am not leaving FLH – only stepping aside as the Director.  And excited to be focusing on the "feeding the soul" part of FLH.  Our board is actively following a transition plan as they search for God to bring forth the next ED.  If you have any questions, please reach out to me or to our Board President, Lisa Sides at lisajsides@gmail.com.

Dear friends - together let's watch for where the next 10 years take us and actively participate as we battle hunger in our neighborhood.
Let's Love People --

Jill Goad, Director of FLH

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another"
(1 John 4:11, ESV).