House of Manna

 And Moses said to them,
“It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.”
 (Exodus 16: 15 c)

The opening of the House of Manna went off without a hitch. Well, almost. Only one family showed up, and we actually had more volunteers than people to be served. Nevertheless, the tables were set with our china dishes; the volunteers were willing and friendly. Lisanne Finston from Elijah’s Promise waited around to watch the events; she actually – unknowingly – sent away the father of the family, because he showed up before the rest of his family arrived! “Sorry,” she told him, “but this is for children and families.” Later on, we figured out what happened. However, those are mistakes that just such a special project as this one will have to work through. Amazingly, it so wonderful to see how eager people are to volunteer; and what nice conversations are going on in the kitchen.

Just for fun, especially since one of my children asked me for the definition of MANNA, I decided to do a web search. I think that you might find it humorous about the definition. Enjoy!

By extension “manna” has been used to refer to any divine or spiritual nourishment. In a modern botanical context, manna is often used to refer to the secretions of various plants, especially of certain shrubs and trees, and in particular the sugars obtained by evaporating the sap of the Manna Ash, extracted by making small cuts in the bark. The name manna is said to derive from the question “man hu?”, which somewhat means, “what is this?”   This isn’t exactly a Hebrew translation. Most likely MAN means plant lice, with the Hebrew “man hu” thus meaning “this is plant lice”. Thus, it is believed that manna actually refers to the crystallized honeydew of certain scale insects. In the environment of a desert, such honeydew rapidly dries due to evaporation of its water content, becoming a sticky solid. Honeydew of this form is considered a delicacy in the middle east, and is a good source of carbohydrate.

NO, we aren’t offering plant lice, but we are offering wonderful dinners to families, who often find the economic difficulties of trying to feed their families, as if they are walking through the desert. Here at the House of Manna they will find sustenance.

About Susan Kramer-Mills

Susan Kramer-Mills' journey as a pastor has led her to a variety of places. Before attending McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago she was a Volunteer-in-Mission for two years West Berlin, Germany. After returning to the United States and graduating from seminary, she returned with her husband Hartmut to Germany. From 1990 to 1992 she was campus chaplain and registrar at Naumburg Seminary in former East Germany. With the closing of the seminary she assumed the pastorate for the yoked congregations of Stoessen, Goerschen and Rathewitz in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. At the same time she taught Religious Instruction at two public elementary schools until 1998. During this time she was assigned six additional congregations to the original three. In 1998, she received a call as Associate Pastor to Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey. She served in that position until 2000, when she and her husband accepted a call as co-pastors to First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Since April 1, 2004, Rev. Kramer-Mills has also been working part-time as Classis Minister to the Classis of New Brunswick.
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