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Ministry/Service Project Report #1 -- Bread of Life

I’m participating in Bread of Life, a ministry/service project sponsored by Lake Overholser Church of the Nazarene. Jimmy Knight, college pastor of Lake O’ and RD of Bracken Hall is the leader of the event and my main contact with the group. Every Thursday evening at about 6pm I head down to the church. Once there we load up the van with food that was prepared earlier in the day. Around 6:15 we say a pray and all load up into the church van and we head down to Wiley Post Park just south of the canal off Robinson Ave. There we serve supper to the homeless and the hungry. The number of people we server varies from time to time but is probably 50 or more (but I am horrible with guesstimating crowd sizes). Different helpers do different jobs, some serve the food onto plates, I’ve been helping with serving drinks, and some wander around and talk to people. Once all the food has been served and some of the clean up is down I head off to talk with people until its time to leave. We return to the church around 8:15 that evening.         It was a very interesting experience the first time I went. Having grown up in Africa I am used to seeing the poor, homeless, and hungry. I’m not used to seeing poor, homeless, and hungry American’s in our country of great wealth. It was a bit un-nerving at first. I stayed in the background and followed Jimmy around, unsure of what to do and too uncomfortable to do much else. The next week I started helping with the drinks (I also brought a friend along, Brad Graves, which helped make things more comfortable). After going a couple of times I began to recognize the people and remember a few of there names and started to pick up on who liked what to drink.         Two Thursdays ago was especially . . . rewarding I guess . . .  when we were wrapping up and talking and joking with the people there, there is one guy who always takes whatever coffee is left home with him, so several of us were joking about the coffee and he said to the other students who were than, pointing at me, “He knows I’ll finish up. You guys don’t be he does, he’s been here before.” I can’t really explain what it means to me, or exactly how it feels, but there is something special about being noticed. Not in the being noticed part, but in knowing that you did something such that it made an impression on someone else.         At first I was wary of the whole situation and of having to Bread of Life. Now I look forward to Thursday nights. When we come back that evening I feel strangely at peace and have a sense of deep well-being, it is hard to explain.

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