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friday update

November 3 at 12:01 PM ·

Blessed Portion Update—11/2/18

Well, tonight began very quietly and we did not have a large turnout but the people that came, as usual, were grateful that we were there. The Greek ladies’ ministries showed up with an awesome spread of food as usual. Scallop potatoes with chunks of ham, salad, breadsticks, and multiple desserts. We heard many stories tonight of hope and despair because that is the way life is sometimes and no matter who you are in this life you will face both. One couple shared that they were working toward having their own place soon and we celebrated with them. On the other side, a grandmother shared that she had just come from her Grand Daughter’s funeral. We also shared in that moment of her grief. Knowing that God is present in all of these moments can give us all the hope that God has promised. Because He will not allow us to endure more than we can handle and that He will never leave us or forsake us in this life.

The message tonight spoke of Genesis 45 and how Joseph had endured hatred from his brothers and just short of killing him they sold him into slavery. God blessed Joseph through his journey of slavery, false accusations and thirteen years in prison. In the end, God blessed him, and he was made the second most powerful man in all of Egypt. During a great famine, his brothers came to him and bowed before him. Although Joseph was not quick to reveal himself, he eventually let his brothers know who he was. Then, regardless of all that happened to Joseph, he did not respond with bitterness or revenge. In fact, having the power that was given to him he could have had his brothers tortured or executed. But because of God’s evident grace and work in Joseph’s life, through all his years of endurance, he extended that same grace and mercy toward his brothers. The point of tonight’s message is that regardless of what others have done to us, no matter if it was fair or if they deserve punishment. We are called to forgive as we have been forgiven and if we carry around bitterness and revenge in our hearts we are punishing and poisoning ourselves. When we respond to others the way God responded to us when we needed forgiveness then we are living examples of what Christ has done and is continuing to do in our lives.

At the mission, we heard more stories of hope and challenges as many of the men struggle yet continue to endure through it all. One man shared how he got to hear the word “daddy” for the first time in his life and how amazing that made him feel. It was evident on his face because he couldn’t stop smiling as he talked about it. Others smiled as well as they told accounts of their progress through programming. One man who had been through recovery multiple times stated quietly how he was ready “again” to start over. I did not feel shame or judgment toward him but only admiration and respect that he chose to begin again. This reminded me that we all have stuff that we are dealing with and we can choose to give up. But I am so thankful to hear stories of triumph over tragedy and adverse situations.

At the end of the night, we traveled under that bridges and the park to bring hope and a warm meal to those who need it. We found several folks who were tucked in for the night but grateful that we brought food for them. We were able to share some items and pray for them at that moment. As the night closed we did not find but one man in the park who was thankful for something to eat. We also were concerned for our friend Dave who recently had surgery and though usually quiet seemed even more so because of his recovery. When we gathered for prayer we asked Dave if he wanted us to pray for anything specific for him. He stood there quietly and looked around but never spoke a word. It made me remember times in my life when I had no words when it came to prayer. A time when I just needed to be silent because my heart was too heavy or the pain was still too near to me. In those moments I knew God already knew what I was feeling and exactly what I needed. Unspoken prayer is just as much a prayer as one spoken loud and clear so we prayed to know that God was present and that He catches every tear and knows our hearts better than we know our own.

In closing, I would like to again thank the Greek ladies for the amazing food tonight. Christina Scheiber Rochelle Bloomfield-Wilson, Tobey, Jacquie Aldrich, Kim and Todd, Cheyenne, and all who donate to this ministry every week. We are blessed by all of you.

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