Blessed Portion Update 10-27-17
Tonight was very cold and the main item needed was gloves to which we gave out every pair we had. Coats--also gave away over a dozen coats--hand warmers and socks which we also gave away all we had!! The number one thing for everyone was warmth and thankfully we had enough items to meet all the needs.... even at the end of the night we had one volunteer ( Amber Gaskill) take off her socks and give them to a friend who desperately needed a pair! When those moments happen its so incredible to watch.....thanks Amber! We also had plenty of grilled hot dogs thanks to Nick Reinoehl and his crew as well as bikes from him and Addy's bike ministry. We also had hot cider and cookies from David and Veronique Poudrier, chips and baked beans from Amber and Casa's from Erin Glassley.................SO plenty of food and again we thank everyone!!!
As stated the weather was rainy and cold and thankfully we were able to go inside and get out of the elements so another big thanks to Chad and Karen Karen Ann Weeks and Dino Zurzolo. It was so nice to be inside and not worry about anything. We were able to sped a lot of time talking and catching up and able to hear some heart cries. One of our friends was raw and honest in her frustration about why she doesn't get answers from God when she prays and she wanted to know why? One friend spoke up and reassured her that we need to look for things to be thankful for and ways to see how God IS moving. There was some talk also of trying to get her in a shelter, but she is a little hesitant because she doesn't want to leave her friend behind....hard call for her to make but she is thinking about it. As we watched her later ride off on her bike covered in her poncho to her camp site there was a deep sadness for her. She comes mostly for the relationships and prayer....and like she said to "Be with her family."
From there we went to the Rescue Mission and saw more friends and some old faces reappearing hoping to find the strength to do what is needed. Heard some great praises of what God is doing in hearts and lives and one friend quit smoking- cold turkey...said the money he used to spend on cigarettes will now go towards saving up for a home!!!! The Mission is filling up and its good to know so many are able to receive the help they need and are able to be warm. We also stopped by and saw our friends at Catalpa Street ( The new Hobson house for men) and oh how we love them there!! Its always fun to hear what they have been up to and see where they are going individually. Tommy last week took the men there to The Ark Encounter in Kentucky and they had a blast and this week they wondered where the next trip would be!!! It is good to do things that like that, and its a way to encourage others and build relationships and it was so worth it!! Some of them have been coming to church with us and that is a blessing as well!!
Towards the end of the night we made a few more rounds and found a couple we've known for awhile but saw them in a new spot. They were not able to come down where we were feeding, but we always have to go containers and they were so appreciative we had some for them and another friend--along with a couple extra blankets and a sterno. The sterno was lit right way and watching this couple try to stay warm under a SMALL flame was gut wrenching....they were SO happy to have some heat. It came up as our lady friend mentioned that she isn't sure what she believes about God..but does believe there is some higher power out there. She said "Gina, I want you to know things are getting around." When I asked what that meant she replied that another lady friend has mentioned to her several times about how coming to church has helped her so much and that she should come. She said also that there have been others who have been going to church and are actually excited about it, which has got her thinking. To that I replied "Well then that's a good thing to have going around." ( I was thankful it was good news and not bad news ) Sadly they also talked about how once they were at a church for Mothers day. They ended up sitting next to the Pastors wife . At one point in the service there were some tears by our friends because they had lost their mother's and that service was pretty emotional for them. Our friend leaned over to the Pastors wife asking if she had a tissue so he could wipe the tears from his wives eyes and she was clearly annoyed by them because they were not so clean and looked homeless--- she replied "Oh I guess so..here." He said at that moment they both got up and left. So they asked about Pathway and would they be ok to go in the clothes they have?
Would they even be allowed to even go? Our team was stunned that that question even had to be addressed, but it did and we said "You come as you are---it doesn't matter what you look like."So before we left we did pray with all 3 of them and said we loved them, and hoped to see them Sunday. We did talk about them going to shelters, but I'm not sure they are ready just yet......but this is where consistency comes in and building relationships with people. Hopefully there will come a time when they will make that decision, but for tonight we left there knowing they were clothed and fed and warmer then we first got there.
So tonight we were inside for a few stops and out for a few--but happy to see our friends as usual. One thing that stuck with us was with one of our friends who doesn't say a whole lot. Tonight during prayer time he spoke up a couple times...one was a prayer request and the other was a praise. He said "I would like to thank God for giving me what I need when I don't ask for it." Now that may not seem like a lot to you but for him it is. He is one of those friends who doesn't mind being homeless....and he never asks for anything. He keeps to himself and yet is personable. He has come to church with us many times and I love looking over at him seeing him singing and following along with our drummer at times. He used to not go to church, but since he has started he has made a few comments how that God is working on him.....it may be slow he says but it is working. So for him to acknowledge God doing something for him was amazing. Before he said this I had seen him sitting down and his socks were wet....and so I asked "Would you like a pair of socks?" He said "Well yes I would." When he got the dry ones and took off the wet ones is when I took a picture of them. ( I told him I was posting his socks) His socks clearly as you can see are wet and dirty...... and that is not acceptable so again thank you for donating socks to us, because to him GOD gave him those socks and he is exactly right. The things we give or what you give are a direct gift from God and when you give people's lives are better and they see that as coming from God to them....folks this is what its all about!!! So whoever gave those used blue socks that he is now wearing you helped him see that God is aware of him and his needs even if its just a pair of socks.
So when we go on Fridays trust us we are about telling people to go to shelters or half way houses in Fort Wayne truly we are, but so many are not making that decision and that's their choice for now. We though go to them for several reasons and the main reason is Jesus..... and if giving a person a pair of socks means that they recognize it as a God thing then praise God for that .....and the seeds are planted.
So thanks again to Addy and Nick Reinoehl for the many bikes they brought down again with bike locks, thanks to Pathway Community Church, Grace Summit Church, Hamilton Church of Christ,, Claudia Weesner, Christina King, Jacquie Aldrich, Rose and Chris Scheiber, Lori Williams, Renee Liechty Kahn, Mjs Apparel, Mark and Jennifer Lynne Stebing, Auburn Massage and Wellness, Sarah Bigelow Lapadot, Sasha Gravante, David and Veronique Poudrier, Scott Wright, Erin Glassley, Chad and Karen Ann Weeks, Dino Zurzolo, Michelle Fetters Fahl, Mikayla, all those who gave this week THANKYOU I dont know who you all are but we are so thankful for you!!!