In the midst of ConAgra’s closing, I am unafraid, and here’s why.
When my job at the animal shelter got terminated in February of 2017, I went looking for work around the area. I had to find a job within Trenton as my household was (and still is) a one car family. I went to the career center and logged into the job site when a woman told me that Manpower was there taking applications for Modine and ConAgra. My first choice was to go back to Modine, as they have “normal” hours (not my phrase) and I did want a life outside of work. ConAgra was my second option simply because, at the time, I knew of their closing and didn’t want to set up shop in a place that would end within a year of my employment. The weeks went on and Modine fell through so I took the only option I had at the time and began my new job at 6:30 a.m. on April 17th of 2017 on the Vienna line at ConAgra.
I hated it!
I had kept an active life with my previous employer scrubbing the kennels, and I thought that my past work would have prepared me for the rigors of my new post, but I soon found out that it didn’t. The weeks continued and the weather went from a nice Spring climate to a very sultry Summer. It seemed that when the weather changed, my job within the plant changed as I went to another area to work, which was harder than the first. My muscles, bones, and attitude were worn to the breaking point. Many days I thought “I’m just going to quit and start someplace else”, but thankfully, I held on. My only consolation was in the paychecks, which were great in comparison from my minimum wage roots, and the fact that my body was toughening up.
The next few months saw me in a variety of jobs as I was labeled a “G1”, which means, in a nutshell, a general worker, able to go anywhere in the plant and, with a bit of training, could work any job that was needed. I really didn’t mind but did try to “qualify” in the Flash department (didn’t make it because of my eyes). Over time, a funny thing happened, I actually grew to like the job and the people. At the end of the day, I came home, my wonderful home, to a beautiful & dangerous (inside joke) wife, fantastic kids, a dog, and a cat, and thanked God for putting me into a life that allowed me to have,..well, a life beyond just mere financial existence.
The months passed and the time of the plants closing was growing closer. It really began to hit everyone that things were headed in a direction that no one wanted to think about with the posting of this article on our local radio station’s Facebook page.
The letter that was posted at the bottom of the article was the same one we had received on our plant news bulletin board. Up to that point, the rumor mill had been working, but it was after the posting of this letter/article that speculations went into over-drive.
Many people are worried and understandably so, as the plant not only takes care of the worker’s needs and livelihoods from a financial sense, but the plant is a HUGE jewel in the crown of Trenton. It’s closing would, undoubtedly, deal a crippling blow to families and to the community.
Was I worried? I should have been, but I wasn’t. I felt…” activated”
I can’t explain it, well, I can, hence this post, but I wasn’t afraid (and still not) when the KTTN article was posted. This was the time God had prepared me and my walk with Him was about to be put through a test, but more than a test, this time was an opportunity to Glorify Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
I did the one thing my faith had taught me when confronted with fear, I faced it head on, so I did the thing that I’ve become proficient at, and that is, to post a comment that went against what many were posting:
It seemed to hit with a lot of people as the “likes” and “reactions” seemed to indicate. I did not do this as a boast about myself, or some hidden resource/abilities that I had and no one else did, I did this to boast about my Lord and how, in the midst of this trial, in the midst of the growing number of evangelists rising, speaking fear and despair within the plant and community, I would shine a light in that darkness and talk about my confidence, my hope that resides within my being.
As soon as I made this comment, I put up this video on my wall glorifying God through this news:
It wasn’t long after the KTTN posting that a reporter from KSHB 41 Action News came to Trenton. It’s really sad that our little community seems to make the front page when something tragic happens, and so it was in this segment:
The effort continue to keep the plant open and there is some hope.
I have no animosity towards her or any news organization that wants to report on this event. In bringing a spotlight to this, the people who are involved are being watched and I think that is important. The thing that is neglected is hope.
I wrote in a previous paragraph, comparing some to evangelists that do not spread the Good News, Kingdom Living and the Hope that rests in God, but those that spread fear and despair. There are many such evangelists within Trenton, and I guarantee that are those individuals everywhere. You know them, the ones that seem to also “activate” when bad news comes up, spreading a dystopian message which seems to bolster their own type of “ministry”. It is in response to that dark message that I know that God has activated me, not to bolster myself, but point the way towards true hope, a hope that is needed now in this small corner of the world, the Hope of Jesus Christ.
I rest my hope in God, who has provided for my family and myself. I DO NOT put my hope in a company, a paycheck or groups of people that seemingly control things, but in Jesus Christ. This is why I’m unafraid and why I will speak of the hope that lies within my being.
Brothers and Sisters in Trenton, this is a GOLDEN opportunity. This is a time to spread the Good News and explain why you (or should) have no fear in the midst of this seemingly apocalyptic event. Now is the time with the Sons and Daughters of Light need to shine and be very visible on stands throughout Trenton and never extinguish our Light given to us by God through His Son, Jesus Christ. I call on you to rise up, rise up and SHINE!