Friday’s weather was gray all day. As the food was simmering and making comforting aromas waft around the kitchen, a cold drizzle was marking the kitchen window. Soon it would be time to load the food onto the food truck and take it downtown. The constants of Friday were the cold and the wet.
We pulled up to our spot with no one in sight to greet us. But before we had stopped the truck, there were two or three guys standing next to the door of the food truck. As we unloaded our equipment and got set up under a sheltered area, more and more hungry people appeared. Search & Rescue has a reputation for being there EVERY FRIDAY. Whether it be an ice storm(2007), a blizzard(2011), a heavy thunderstorm(2008), extreme heat(every summer), or extreme cold(winters); Search & Rescue is out every Friday to feed the hungry.
Aside from the rain, setting up went as it normally does. But as we were about to start, the generator grumbled in protest. It would start and run without a problem until we started using the power and then it would become indecisive. So we sang our praise and worship anyway; without the amplification. Everyone was in close under the shelter, trying to stay warm and dry.
We had set up a propane heater and people warmed themselves by the fire.
People were given jackets, rain ponchos, blankets, socks, long-sleeve shirts and pants.
At about 9 we went to the C-store for a quick pit stop. Next we went to the bus station where we found and served many people. As it turned out, we were at the right place and the right time to rescue a pet turtle that was not allowed on the bus. The pet owner had traveled halfway to her destination and this particular bus driver said, “No turtles on my bus.” (We are caring for the turtle and working with the owner to reunite turtle and owner.) We also met a lady at the bus station that we helped to get off the streets and into a shelter.
Our final stop of the night was at a homeless shelter. Dozens of people came out to get a hot bowl of food and to find jackets, long-sleeve shirts, pants, shoes and socks.
It had been a powerful night of ministry!