Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tears and Hugs, Stories and Laughter, Saying Goodbye and Letting Go

Hello out there - This has been an emotional roller coaster kind of week.
Yesterday was the last day of our wonderful Sack Lunch Ministry. We wanted to
do something a little special. We set up a canopy out on the sidewalk and placed
a long table underneath. We made up punch and had ice chests full of ice. We
brought out the big to go cups with lids and straws. Extra volunteers came because
we all wanted to serve one last time and say our goodbyes. We had volunteers
serving punch and handing out waters beneath the canopy. One volunteer brought
a box of toiletry items and those were placed on a chair for people to take what
they needed and another volunteer brought some clothes to be handed out.
Inside - several volunteers had a fast moving assembly line going - Oscar Mayer
all beef chili dogs were wrapped in foil and placed in a little container. The sack
lunches contained the chili dogs, chips, canned fruit, fresh fruit, and dessert.
Everyone quickly filled the sacks with all the food plus a napkin, fork, and spoon.
One group of devoted volunteers handed out the sack lunches and the other group
of devoted volunteers filled cups with ice and punch. Bottles of water were also
handed out.
A plate full of mustard, ketchup, and mayo packets were available for them to add
to their bag along with extra chips and fruit if they wanted them.
So many of our volunteers showed up to help for the last day. Many came early and
some stayed late. Some of our volunteers couldn't stay a long time but they dropped
by to pitch in while they could, and to visit, and say their goodbyes.
The people we serve were so thankful, not just for yesterday, but for everyday that
we have been there for them. It was hard and it was a blessing - hugs and tears,
laughter and stories, fellowship and sad goodbyes.
We left the door open after our usual closing time, just in case someone got there a
little late. All the volunteers that were left sat down together and shared the same
meal we had served. The fellowship was needed after such an emotional morning.
Janice and I are so thankful for all of the faithful and hard working volunteers.
We are thankful for all of you who dropped off supplies, cases of water, and
to everyone who donated money to keep this program going. You are all
truly angels and you will never know how much we appreciate all that you have
done.
We took the extra supplies to the Salvation Army. We didn't have much left -
some toiletries, two boxes of mayo packets and one box of mustard packets,
some winter caps and gloves. They will use everything we gave them for those
who stay at the shelter. I received a tour and was impressed and thankful for all
that they do!
This morning I prayed for all those we have served. We knew some of their names
and we knew some of their stories. Some would ask us to pray for them and share
what was going on. This morning I could see their faces as I prayed and lifted them
up in prayer.
Please God, take care of Dennis and his sister, please take care of Richard and Paul.
Please take care of Jimmy and Thomas, Timothy and his fiancé. Please take care
of Beth and her husband. Please take care of Meredith, she loved to visit with us all.
Please take care of Michael, who I haven't seen in a while. Please take care of
Joanie, she is so special to us all. Many times she would help us before she would
take a lunch of her own. The children, Lord, please take care of the children. Please
take care of Dustin, who seems to have such a soft heart. Please take care of James,
who is always really hungry! Please take of Alex, who always greeted us with joy
and a big smile. Please especially take care of those with families. Please God,
provide for the children. Please God, take care of them all. Amen.
Please take care of all those we served but never knew their names. Please help me
to remember their faces so that I will never forget. Thank you, God, for blessing
my life with all the amazing people I have met while helping with this ministry. Amen.
"Open the eyes of my heart, Lord - Open the eyes of my heart."

I pray for those who are hungry and those who have no home.
 I pray for those we served with families of their own.
 I pray for peace and understanding for those who live on the  streets.
I pray for Jesus to guide me, to be His hands and feet. Amen.




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