Friday OSS Report

Yesterday was quite a busy day at the park.  There were easily over 100 people that came through the line for food.  We know we went through at least 130 bowls if not more.

I get busy serving and talking to everyone, and I will glance up and look at the line, and I think it is sooo long, I hope that we have enough.  I am usually looking for faces that get back in line for “seconds” and then I know that pretty much we have served everyone at least once.  On a whole, the group is good about making sure “first timers” will get their share, before they get a second serving.

Yesterday we had lasagna, vegetable beef soup, bean and ham soup, banana cream pudding and cookies.  I was wondering about our food supply, when Joy a volunteer with another group that we’ve met came and joined us with a big supply  of egg salad, and tuna with egg salad.  They had received a donation of hard boiled eggs and so she made the salads and brought it to the park.  (We have been telling the other group which day we are going to the park so that this group can serve some homeless at a different location, and that way together we are able to help more people.) Well, Joy’s salads certainly added to what we had, and we literally had nothing left when we were finished.

God certainly does provide.

As for an update on our friends:

Dawn and Ernie elected not for Dawn to have the surgery on her throat.  I talked with them on Thursday, as we were planning on visiting her in the hospital.  I had seen all Dawn’s necessary hospital paperwork so that I could get in to see her, so I knew where to go and what they were expecting to do.  Ernie said Dawn had been able to eat some soft foods earlier in the week, and that they were planning on going to Ohio for some work and they didn’t want the surgery to set them back.   He told me he knew a lot of people were praying for them and “maybe them prayers are working”.  The hospital still wants to proceed with the surgery to correct the situation, however, they are not doing it at this time.  They are planning on leaving the first week in April, and will be gone for around 6 months and then return.  Dawn’s children and mother are here, so they will return.   This is one of those times that I remind myself that God is in control, knows what is going on, and no matter how much compassion or empathy you have for people, you help the way you can help, and trust in Him for the rest.

Chuck received his special shoes to help with his diabetes.  He said it was like “walking on air”.  I asked about his toes, as he has two that aren’t doing too well.  He said the doctor told him the insulin medicine may take a week or so to make a difference.  Please continue to pray for Chuck’s health.

I can tell you about two newer friends that we talked with, Levi and Jason who readily shared their names.    Levi was sharing with Jason out of one of the Bibles that we have available if someone would like one.   He was talking about Psalm 69 to Jason.  I said, “Oh, the Psalms, you know what my favorite one is?  It’s Psalm 139”.  So Levi, turned to it and started reading it, and we talked about how God has know us since the beginning, is always there for us, even when we try to hide from Him, knows the words on our lips before we speak them, how fearfully and wonderfully made we are.

Jason asked me about church.  I told him about where I go, but then I told him “Jason, we come here because we want to be Jesus’ hands and feet, we want to show people His love through us.”  “It isn’t about going to a church, or going to a building.

I had remembered a conversation that Keith (one of the volunteers) repeated to me he had one day with someone at the park.  That particular individual started asking  “okay, where do you go to church”, etc.  Keith told him, and said he was welcome to come if he could get there, however, it wasn’t about that, it was about love.  Keith told me the guy told him that really struck him. (Keith, it was such a great way to express it, I’m thankful you shared it with me!)

Levi, Jason and I talked further and I said, “What I read in the scriptures, Jesus didn’t have a place to lay his head half the time, he was always on the move.  Going place to place.  He was on the streets.”  Levi said, “That is so true”.

We probably spent at least another 30 minutes or so talking along with some others that would wander in and out of our discussion.  It was a discussion that was cheerful, encouraging and uplifting.

Levi said when we left, “okay, you guys will be back Wednesday?  You know, I wasn’t going to come here today, but I’m really glad I did.”

I’m glad you did too Levi, it was great talking with you.

They left I believe energized and encouraged.  I know I did.

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3 thoughts on “Friday OSS Report

  1. That is such a great uplifting post. It is a shame that Dawn did not have her operation but I can understand why it is so important that they should go to Ohio next week. My prayers go with Dawn and Ernie and I wish them a safe journey.
    How wonderful that you have found some new people to join your merry band ..Levi and Jason. I shall look forward to learning more about you.
    I suppose when you think about it Jesus was a homeless person, but no matter where He went there was always somewhere to rest His head,so there is hope for all.
    Why do the shelters close in April?
    I shall continue to pray for Chuck, and very pleased to hear about his new shoes.

    I shall pray for you all and for the good work that you are doing over there in Carolina.

    Much love P

    • I am not sure of all the reasons why the sleeping shelters close in April. There are still places to go for food, but the shelters that they open during the cold months close when it gets warmer. It doesn’t make much sense to me, considering our summer months get quite hot, with temperatures in the 100’s. We are trying to find out the answers to those questions. Thank you again for the prayers and support! Love, D

  2. Shelters close in April because, unlike in Utah, temperatures can be relied on to remain above frost. That doesn’t mean it won’t get chilly, say down to 1 C, but not solid ice. So, toss the bums out for the summer. Don’t want them too comfy.

    However, you may find that some homeless blokes interpret sincere, well-intentioned efforts to help them as a sort of patronization. I only mention this because your ‘toon suggests a religious/political orientation in your interests in the forum. This, of course, is okay. Homeless vary in degree of ability to exercise self-determination, needs for outside assistance, goals, and reasons for being, having been, or being in danger of homelessness. Good to recall that negotiating this issue requires some sensitivity.

    Now for shoes in connection with poor: What’s wrong is the cruel economic discipline seen here. A discount shoe store can’t sell all its shoes. Does it donate the surplus? No. They slash the extras with a box knife and toss them into the dumpster. Why give shoes away to people who may buy them from you later? It’s quite logical, yet very cruel. It’s how our greed-driven universe works.

    God bless you.

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