Monday, November 7, 2011
Soup Kitchen: An Ongoing Outreach
There are so many reasons why I absolutely LOVE serving at the soup kitchen. One reason is because it's a simple way to meet a practical need. But the real reason is because it gives me the opportunity to get to know some pretty amazing people!! It's taken a while, but real relationships are being built between the folks who serve and those who eat at the soup kitchen. In the past couple of months, I've gotten to know two sisters - Jane & Edna.* These two women have hard lives, but they have incredible, humbling faith. Despite the heartache that Edna is facing in her marriage & with her youngest son, she holds onto Jesus with a child-like faith. She trusts that He answers prayer. And He does answer her prayers.
This past month was my husband's first time serving at the soup kitchen. Together, we had a chance to get to know Shawn.* Shawn shared with my husband & I that he is homeless. He lives, most days, behind a grocery store downtown. On cold nights, he drinks to stay warm. Sometimes, like this past Halloween, he gets drunk enough to get arrested so he has a roof over his head at night. Shawn believes in God, and even calls himself "apostle." He's friendly with many pastors around town. Whether or not Shawn knows God, I have no idea. But I know that God knows Shawn.
Sometimes I like to think that I'm making a difference in the lives of the folks that come to the soup kitchen. The truth is, they're changing me. Jane, Edna, and Shawn remind me of God's love and faithfulness. They remind me to hold on to Jesus during my tough times, because He loves me and will hold my hand through it all.
Have you ever helped out at a soup kitchen? What was your experience like as you interacted with the folks who attended?
*names changed to protect identity