Some of the staff at the Open Bible national office are working from home due to the pandemic restrictions. However, the ones who are working at the office got a special treat back in April. Randall Bach, president of Open Bible Churches, brought in some made-from-scratch, home-baked goodies to share. It turns out they were left over from his wife’s efforts to minister to their community.
Barbara Bach has as much fun being in her kitchen as most children do playing outside in the park. She said, “It is my happy place, where I take joy in everything I cook or bake from ‘scratch.’ I’m not sure which is the greater motive, to bless others or to bring joy to myself.”
When Randall and Barbara’s ministry trips were canceled due to COVID-19, Barbara had an idea: what about offering meals to her neighbors? As the homeowners’ association secretary, she decided to present an idea to their block of retired individuals, some of whom are couples, some who live alone. After feeling stirred in her spirit to reach out, she first sent an email on March 19 that said, “How’s everyone doing? How can I help you? Reply to ALL so we can keep in touch.”
A few days after that email, Barbara made her famous sour cream sugar cookies and dropped them off at her neighbors’ doors to wish everyone a happy spring. Then sensing the Holy Spirit gently moving her, she “stepped out of the boat” on April 6 and sent another email to let people know she was considering making meals from scratch from the recipes posted on her website, barbarasfrenz.com. She would let people know ahead of time what days she would be cooking and what each meal would be. People could contribute a small amount for ingredients if they could afford it.
It didn’t take long for the responses to come in, such as
I LOVE this idea, Barbara!!! Please count me in! The food items you mentioned sounded very good and I’m not likely to make them for ‘just me.’”
“I am still so thrilled that you are doing this, which again shows what a huge heart you have!”
Barbara started out with three takers for the first meal, chicken and noodles, but the list soon grew to ten for lasagna. When she offered a ham dinner with three sides the orders grew to twelve. When Barbara started to wonder if she should continue this journey, she felt the Holy Spirit telling her, “Take it a day at a time!” So far, she has served 100 meals, which have gotten rave reviews. One lady named Mary said, “According to 1 Corinthians 13:13, we need faith, hope, and love. The greatest is love and Barbara is showing that kind of love through her cooking for us.”
Barbara said, “Because of this venture I’ve seen my neighbors more in the last two months than in the previous eight years that we have lived here. We text back and forth and have built wonderful relationships.”
Her husband, President Bach, said, “As Barbara’s husband, I am touched and so happy. I have told Barbara she is more than the secretary of the homeowners’ association; she is increasingly functioning as a chaplain. She encourages and prays for people. Make no mistake, on our street I am just the guy who is married to Barbara.”