November 2023 Newsletter


With the Thanksgiving season upon us, it's the time of year to be thankful for all that we have been given. As we count our many blessings, we are so grateful for the ways that God has used and grown our ministry, and has brought others along side us to help support our mission. He continues to clearly open doors and close doors, directing our steps and providing a path for us to move forward.

As you read this month's newsletter, we pray that you will also see God's fingerprints on our ministry. He is blessing and multiplying the efforts of all who pray for, donate to, and volunteer with The Ivy Table. What an honor it is for us to be serving with such an incredible group of ministry partners. Thank you for your support!

50 tons!

Last week, we gave away our 60,000th free meal, bringing the total amount of food that we have donated to the less fortunate over the past two years past 100,000 pounds- or 50 tons!!!

Hike for Hope during Hunger Action Month

We had over 100 people participate in September's Hike for Hope. It was an incredible evening with great food, music, learning, and laughter. We also collected a truck full of canned goods that we delivered to a food pantry inside a local high school. Thanks to everyone who attended and gave so generously!

Music by Cornerstone's youth worship band.

BBQ Dinner with S'mores

An interractive and educational hike through the woods

Food donations for the less fortunate in our county

At the hike, we not only shared statistics on hunger, but also on food waste and how each of us can make a difference. For example, did you know?

  • The average US household throws away 30 pounds of food every month...the equivalent of $1500 in groceries a year. Learn 7 tips to reduce food waste here.

  • 10% of wasted food can be attributed to confusion over product dates. "Sell by", "Use by", and "Best by" dates are created by the manufacturer. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, "they are not indicators of a product's safety" and " most food is safe to consume past the dates on the label". Read more about food dating here.

  • 50% of our country's fruits and vegetable crops are never consumed. Storing food food properly will help extend its lifespan. Learn food storage tips here.

'You are loved' collaborative art

Those in attendance at the Hike for Hope also helped us create a collaborate piece of artwork, shown below. Each smaller heart on the image contains a message or bible verse from one of our hikers about our love for and/or God's love for the people of Thailand. its the the theme of our missions trip being "you are loved", this image will be duplicated and distributed to our partner organizations and those we serve in that country as a reminder that they are never forgotten about. Thank you for your participation.

Students Serving Others

We were so excited to get a call from students at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, asking if they could study our nonprofit for their class project. Erin, Tino, and Ethan spent the morning with us learning about The Ivy Table, packing over 100 meals for our Connecting Tables ministry, and helping us deliver them to free meal fridges in Howell.

Dreams coming true in Thailand

Those who attended our Sunday Supper in June will remember Lhen Lhen, the director of Mercy Pattaya. In addition to sharing her personal testimony, she also shared that evening about a dream she had to open a hospitality training center. That dream may soon be a reality, thanks to your generosity.

Mercy Pattaya was recently able to acquire the space adjacent to their current office. The new space has been painted and updated, and if things go as planned, when our team is in Thailand this January, we will be outfitting the new space with a kitchen and celebrating the grand opening of Mercy's Table, a hospitality training center for underprivileged children in Pattaya.

Celebrating God's Faithfulness

A few years ago, when COVID hit, the Baan Reumjai church in Thailand had no money in their bank account, and was unsure how they were going to pay their utility bills. As a church that ministers to families living in the poorest slum neighborhood of Pattaya, their needs were many, but their resources were few. They trusted God and prayed that He would find a way to provide for them.

At about that same time, Jessica was in Thailand looking for ways to expand The Ivy Table's ministry in Pattaya. We were praying that God would provide a way for us to not just feed people physically, but spiritually as well. Through a mutual friend, Jessica was connected with Gideon, the pastor of the Baan Reumjai church, and as they say...the rest is history.

The Ivy Table is honored to now not only support this church financially, but also to host lunches every weekend after worship service and sponsor community dinners every month for its neighborhood.

Last month, we celebrated from afar the church's 15 year anniversary (an accomplishment that many thought would never happen). We provided an extra special meal, and as a part of the festivities, Pastor Gideon shared with all in attendance the story of God's He connected two organizations from opposite sides of the world, in exactly the right place, at exactly the right time, answering prayer for us both. Enjoy the brief video below of the 15 year celebration. Make sure the sound is unmuted and see if you recognize the song (hint: Oh happy day!).

Salvaging Surplus Food

About a month ago, we were contacted by a member of the sustainability team at the Costco in Brighton. After listening to a sermon at a local church, he felt led to research ways to reduce the amount of food that the store discards daily. With the help of a mutual friend,he ended up contacting us, and asked if we could put any of their food to use. Of course, our answer of was YES!

The only caveat to receiving Costco's surplus food (per their corporate policy) was that it had to be picked it up each week in a refrigerated truck. We explained that we didn't currently own a truck, but were willing to look for one if it meant salvaging hundreds of pounds of good food weekly. And Costco generously agreed to give us time to find a truck. While we were searching, the store began calling us to collect items that weren't super temperature sensitive, and we began creatively converted them into healthy meals. We now visit Costco one or two days a week to collect perfectly good produce, baked goods, and deli items that are coming close to their "sell by" date. It has been such a blessing to turn this food (that otherwise would end up in a compost pile) into delicious meals for our community, and once we have a truck, we will be able to salvage even more.

Our new truck!

We will be picking up our new (used) Transit van on Friday!!! We still have to add a refrigeration unit to it, but are so grateful to at least now have a truck. This will make it easier to not only collect donated food, but also deliver prepared meals out to our community. Hopefully one day, we will also be able to put our logo on the side of it, so that you can wave to us as you pass us around town.

Tinsel & Tidings is almost sold out!

Exactly 3 weeks ago, we announced Tinsel and Tidings, our very first fundraising Christmas Fundraising Gala, and the response has been unbelievable! We received sponsorships from nearly a dozen local businesses/families, and have already sold all but 10 of our 160 available tickets. We are so excited! If you would still like to join us, act now. We expect the remaining 10 seats to sell out within the next week. Tickets can be purchased here.

In addition to an evening of great food, wine, and music, we will have some raffles and an auction with some amazing items (and potential Christmas gifts) up for grabs, including:

  • Gold and Green Amethyst earrings
  • Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Ear Buds
  • $500 organic pork bundle
  • 1 week vacation at a 2 bedroom oceanfront condo in Cabo, Mexico
  • 1 week vacation at a 4 bedroom beach house on Oak Island, North Carolina
  • A private wine tasting dinner for 12

Enjoy this preview of guest artist for the evening, Lachune, singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Auction donations still needed!

We are still looking for unique auction items for the gala. As our biggest fundraiser to date, this gala could have a huge impact on our ministry. Please let us know if you are able to donate:

  • Gift cards
  • Collectible wines/ spirits
  • Sporting event tickets
  • Handcrafted items
  • Weekend at cottage or vacation home
  • Themed baskets
  • Unique experiences

Give us a call at (810)295-1925 or e-mail us at to schedule a pick-up of your donation. Thanks in advance for your generosity.

Thailand Missions Trip

We are now less than 2 months away from The Ivy Table's first official mission trip. The first 3 weeks of January, our team of 10 people, will work with refugee children and families living in the slums of Thailand to provide for their basic needs and show them how much they are loved. In a country that is 95% Buddhist (and less than 2% Christian), we are so grateful for the opportunity to shine the Light of Christ.

Many of you have already offered your support for our trip. If you would like to be a prayer partner or financial donor, please sign up using the link below.

Become a partner for the trip

Mark your calendars for November 28

Giving Tuesday, celebrated every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is an opportunity for people around the world to give back to their communities. After a holiday weekend which focuses on counting our blessings, Giving Tuesday is a special day when we can give to those who are less fortunate by generously donating our time, talents, and treasures. We will be announcing some exciting opportunities to make a difference that day, so mark your calendars and stay tuned!

Prayer Requests

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • That God would bless the Thanksgiving lunch we will be serving at Innovation Academy this Friday in partnership with Community Bible Church...that the meal would provide each student a chance to feel seen, loved, and valued.
  • For God's provision as we seek a brick and mortar space- a location that would not just provide us with a larger kitchen, but also a place for a free meal fridge, and room that allows us to invite people in.
  • For the Tinsel Tidings Gala to be a success, not just from a fundraising aspect, but that every person who attends will be greatly blessed by a memorable evening
  • For clarity, creativity, and wisdom as we finalize the activity details for our missions trip to Thailand, that we would go prepared with exactly what the people of that country are hungry to hear, see, and experience.
  • For a very special girl, named Bew, a friend of Jessica's from Thailand, who is going through some hard times, feeling extremely lonely, and battling thoughts of suicide- that God would protect her mind, wrap His loving arms around her, and be a light in her time of darkness
  • That God would heal Arlene, one of the community members who attends our Wednesday night dinners, who has been recently diagnosed with cancer
  • For our ComeUnity Dinners on Wednesdays, that even more people from our community would come out seeking the free meal, but also find a welcoming place of fellowship
  • For more volunteers to join us on Wednesdays who want to prep and serve dinner, greet/ mingle with guests, and speed up the clean-up process.
  • For wisdom and discernment as we consider expanding our board

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to become involved in any part of our ministry.

Jessica, Barb, and Sandy

The Ivy Table

Feeding hope, faith, and love

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"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in" Matthew 25:35