Today Michael and I drove to Cypress to celebrate his mom's birthday. Their small group was going downtown to feed the homeless and we were so excited to take part in this! We did not know what this would entail, but that did not matter. I thought we would be going to a soup kitchen of somesort and serving food that was already prepared, but nope.
When we got to his parents house his mom was a cooking fool. She had 35 pounds of chicken and rice made up, cantaloupes on the counter, brownies and cookies in the oven, there was a feast being prepared. We then learned we would be setting up in parking lot behind a bar in downtown Houston to serve around 120 people.
Around 4ish the rest of the small group showed up at their house to get the rest of the food cut (5 HUGE watermelons), put together, and loaded in the cars. When we got downtown the parking lot was already lined with people and we were there about an hour before we were supposed to start serving. We were told people will show up extra early to make sure they are able to get served dinner because there is not always enough food for everyone. We were also told people come from different parts of the city in order to get a meal.
The first thing we did when we got there was hand out cold water bottles to everyone because the Texas heat is brutal. We got everything lined up on the tables and one of the men that was being served said a blessing over the food. It was very touching to hear this man bless the food to everyone there and know in his heart that God would forgive them for their sins. We had a gentleman come up to us as soon as we got there and tell us he did not want to just be given free food, he had wanted to work for it so he served with us. He was a very kind and intelligent man who was trying his best to get off the streets. He has an interview tomorrow morning that we will be praying it goes well for him.
It was a very nice surprise to see how nice, grateful, and polite the people were that we were helping out. Many had stories to tell, some were old, some were young, some were married, some were pregnant, but all were very appreciative.
We made enough food for 120 people and EVERYTHING was gone. It was nice that some people were able to come back for seconds and get completely full before leaving. This one meal may actually be the only meal they eat all day so it was nice to know they had a filling meal.
Michael's parents church, Cypress Bible Church, has signed up to feed this area every Saturday. The different small groups or classes or families that attend the church come and serve a yummy dinner for these people. Other groups and organizations take care of the rest of the nights.
I wish I had a website to share this information with you on how you could do this, but I do not think there is one. They only know about it through the church. But if you are interested I encourage you to ask about if your church does anything like this, and if not maybe how to start something up. I know his parents will do this again soon and we can not wait to be apart of it again.
Today was a day that made us feel blessed for what we do have, but even more about what we are able to do for others. Knowing that one meal to us means so much for the people we met today. Seeing all the smiles on their faces made today mean so much more. What a wonderful and blessed day spent with beautiful people!
"A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor." Proverbs 22:9