This past week Eden had her first taste of ministry in action. Talk about a natural. Girl has the gift of hospitality…already…I can see it. The way she rushes up to people to engage, if only for a quick “hi.” She reminds me so much of my mother.
Anyhoo, this little adventure kinda took on a life of its own…likely because I had prayed so diligently about us “encountering the right people.” Thing was, this was a fun service project for ME and a sweet young woman I am disciplining. We had been studying justice and God’s heart for the poor. Thought we would create some care packages and drop them off with the folks soliciting help along the freeway.
Honestly, I was worried that we would not find folks. Silly. Right? Still, I prayed all week prior, “please prepare us to recognize the folks you want us to serve.” Nancy (friend I disciple) came over around 4:00. The girls had been outside playing in the water, so they were halfway nude. Since they were just coming along for the ride, I left them topless and shoeless, and loaded them into the car.
Guess what? Between I10 and DeZavala all the way to downtown, we did not find a single person along the frontage roads seeking assistance. Not a single person.
So, plan B = drive to Haven for Hope. Surely, we would encounter people in need in that neck of the woods. Right?
Well, yes and no. Yes, people in need. No, not outside where we could drive up, say hi, and offer sandwiches.
We park in one of the parking lots for Haven for Hope and notice of large group of men standing about. But, they appeared to be there to serve rather than to be served. I jumped out of the van, left Nancy with the girls, and went to seek some sort of direction. I’m pretty skilled at swallowing my pride and asking ridiculous questions. Sigh. So I walked up to two gentlemen and said, “Uh, we have bags with sandwiches, chips, fruit, and water. We want to give them out to people in need. Any ideas?”
Well, it became apparent to me pretty quickly that this had been God’s plan…the answer to my prayers. One of the men directed me to the row of cars off to my left. The “lot” was filled with people living in their cars. Said gentleman had spent two months living in that lot. I never would have noticed. Just looked like a row of cars. But on second glance, it was clear. These were people’s homes.
And so, I reported back to Nancy, “We have found our people!” Yea. But I had two half-naked “babies” in the back. Eh, The weather was nice. Eden had a cape, so I threw that on her, and we were good to go.
Me, Nancy, Super Eden, and Denver…going to feed the homeless.
And the girls were a hit. People were giddy to see the cherubs….happy to engage with us…happy to laugh at the ADORABLE kiddos…thrilled with the sandwich bags. Truly, just a precious encounter. Waaaay better than I could have planned.