Hello my darlings,
Yet again I’ve had another busy, busy, busy weekend.
Saturday was spent packaging food from last weeks shopping, as well as laundry and cleaning the apartment. So overall a semi productive day.
Now, Sunday is a different story. I’m not going to complain about how busy it was. Instead, I want to take this time to reflect on what I saw that day, and what I walked away with when it was all done.
Of course when the day started we knew it was going to be busy. Our church is a good 30 to 45 minute drive. Service was at 10 am, then we were going to help set up the church, then lunch then over to Mr. B’s parents to help with the meal prep, then back to the church. We figured the earliest we’d be home would be somewhere around 10 pm. So a good 12 hours or so away, no big deal.
You see, Mr. B and myself belong to a small-ish church. So our church doesn’t normally do something like this. It was our first, and hopefully not our last, time hosting what is called a Warming Center. So what is a warming center? A warming center is a place where those who find themselves without a place to stay can come and get a hot meal at night, a safe place to rest their head, a meal in the morning and bus fair (in the form of a ticket) to get somewhere else in the city during the day.
The beginning process started after Sunday Worship. In our church clothes, a large group of us started to clear out the rooms that we normally use for Sunday school as well as a few other things during the week. Most of the space we cleared would be used as a sleeping area, with one room as a place to store the unused bedding as we waited for those who were coming to show up. Another was called a bag room where they can place their bags and know that their belongings are safe. Once cleared we then prepped a small area with tables and chairs, this was considered the dining area. So Mr. B and myself, as well as several other members moved tables and chairs around, emptied rooms and set them up to prep for this Warming Center. Then we had to unload the bedding and package it. Once this was done, Mr. B, myself and his parents went to lunch feeling good about the good start to our day of fellowship that we were all embarking on together.
By now I’m hoping you’ve figured out that Mr. B and I belong to the same church as his parents. This comes in handy when there are things that volunteers are needed for. So as a small group the 5 of us (Mr. B’s parents, his brother, myself and Mr. B) took on the very first dinner shift. His mom and dad prepped the meal, Mr. B and I were in charge of heating it up and making sure we got it to the church on time. Not a big deal, in fact we were 15 minutes early. At about 7 pm we started letting people in. As Mr. B passed out plates of food, I stood there trying to make sure to engage each person that walked passed me, smiling and asking if they’d like a piece of bread with their meal and assuring them that we had plenty so please come back for seconds. Around 9 pm we started to clean up the food tables and help prep for the morning crew, and boy were my feet hurting. But as I thought about complaining and begging Mr. B that we still had a 30 – 45 minute drive home and we still had to get dinner I looked over at the men who were laying on the other side of the room. They don’t have a home to go to after this, they aren’t even sure if they’ll get dinner tomorrow or next week. The final thing that I saw that has stuck with me since then was I watched a man take off his shoes and socks that were clearly in need of being washed, and poke at the blisters at the bottom of his feet. One was so bad that it covered his entire big toe.
At that moment, I realized something important. Yeah I may not have everything in the world, and most of the time money is tight, but not to the point that I have to worry about losing the roof that is over my head. Not enough to worry about where my next meal is going to be.
So I signed up to help again this Saturday and Sunday morning. It means that Mr. B and I will have to be there by 5:45 in the morning, but what else would I be doing if I wasn’t there? A few hours of less sleep won’t kill me, why not help someone besides myself?
Until next time,