Picnic in the park every Thursday in Peace River

This year marks our 3rd year that I am honoured to serve in our local program I called Picnic in the Park, it started with a sermon our Pastor gave one sunday at the Peace River Baptist Church, Pastor Nathan was Preaching on loving your neighbour. As he preached he used an example of inviting your neighbour and those walking by for a BBQ. I figured that since I lived in the country it would not be that easy so we as a family decide to have a picnic at the Riverfront Park in Peace River and invite those that walked by. Well, that was an eye opener as we fed over 26 people that day, and most were foodless or homeless. So we pulled a few people together through facebook and asked if they would be interested in pulling picnics every Thursday until June. Thursdays are usually the day before payday and the least food in the house.

In starting this program, every donation that came from our community asked me if they could donate. I found that everyone in our amazing community wanted to be a part in making a difference.

Come the end of June 2016 we were feeding up to 250 people of all ages and we decided to keep going until November. Thanksgiving Thursday we had anywhere from 100-150 people and we had turkey and ham at Pizza in the Park, we decided to put on a Picnic in the Park Christmas Dinner for December 22nd 2016. We had so many people wanting to help and donate that we organized leaders and what an amazing turn out!!!! Here is the best part, we had enough wrapped presents for all the children, we had enough food for the 350 people that attended and volunteered, we had so many free door prizes to give away and so much more. All this night I looked throughout the crowd of people and saw something so great that only miracles are described this way. I saw a community that pulled together with love and gave 100% and no judgement was ever passed, people laughing, smiling and eating. It was a total success.

In 2017 our picnics was even more awesome then 2016 and wrapping it up with again a fantastic Christmas dinner serving over 350 people yet again. 2018 is going to be even more awesome, the first baptist church in peace river has donated a BBQ for the picnics.

This would not be possible without the support of our community, Domino’s Pizza and Bridgeview Gardens. Their donations have been limitless. The Peace River woman’s shelter has been a huge part of our success and a special thank you to Kathy Lambert who has moved away and that we will miss dearly. Christian and AJ are our lead volunteers that are a major force in our success. This is not a one person journey, but a community effort in loving our neighbours.

My beautiful wife Tammy and my children help serve week after week, and I can honestly say, maybe the picnics a good for everyone else, I’m the luckiest of everyone as I get the overwhelming gift of love from everyone who comes. It brings me to my knees to see on how a simple message on a Sunday morning can become so big in the end. All this Glory I give to God, as it would not be possible to bring a moment of Hope, Grace and Love without him loving us first.

Paul Hebert
Bikers For Christ
Peace Region


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