It was the last Friday of the month and we arrived to find news vehicles in our spot. We waited a few minutes as they packed up their gear and pulled away before we pulled up into our usual position. There was a concert down the street which meant more traffic, the motorized kind as well as those on foot. We could see different groups of hungry people waiting for us as the process of setting up began. A new member of our team used to be employed as an EMT so we set up a first aid table in addition to the other things that we usually set up. There was a chill in the air so we brought hot cappuccino instead of cold lemonade. Having all of the set-up complete, Jerred prayed over the food and people began to eat the potato soup.
Jerred preached about faith and believing. As always, there was a time of one-on-one ministry after Jerred’s preaching. People came to the back of the truck where we handed out blankets, shoes, socks, jackets, shirts and pants. As the people began to diffuse, we loaded the truck with all of our tables and equipment and went to the C-store.
We fed a handful of people at the C-store. Once they were satisfied, we drove off to find other hungry people. At the bus station, we fed many people and were able to minister and pray with people. As a few of our team members were ministering inside the bus station, we noticed a mentally ill homeless man. Two police officers came to talk to him because they had gotten phone calls from restaurants around there. The police were firm but kind. The man ate two bowls of our potato soup and a cup of hot cappuccino. And then he moved on, spooked by his encounter with the police.
Next we went a few blocks down the street from a homeless shelter. We fed dozens of people as well as handing out clothes to help them stay warm outside through the night. One man had a dog and we were able to give him a gallon size bag of dog food.
Our next stop was a bar, where we fed more hungry people. A few of them even let us pray with them. While we were there, we talked to one of the regulars about the recent death of one of men who used to be homeless. He wasn’t homeless when he passed away and I enjoy thinking of the way that he lit up whenever he saw us.
We went back to bus station and fed three more people. We ended up the night by giving an elderly lady with a walker a ride to her apartment two miles away.