Ham with a side of hope
Cool story from Thanksgiving Outreach...
Saturday morning we're buzzing around the Baton Rouge Dream Center resembling bumble bees on meth. There are volunteers everywhere: some holding signs on street corners, some waving traffic through the parking lot like air traffic controllers and some moving (literally) hundreds of pounds of smoked meat onto the sidewalk. The infamous Thanksgiving Outreach is underway.
I got there late and I missed the instructions so I have basically no idea what's going on. The cool thing is, it doesn't matter. We have such an amazing team of volunteers that I just wander through the lot and enjoy the excitement. It's raining, the wind is biting and hundreds of HPCers are there to serve.
Cars are lined up waiting to deliver Thanksgiving groceries to families they've never met. SUV's packed tight with kids, friends piled into sports cars, pick-up trucks with life group buddies...all of them eager to feed the poor and pray for the hurting. This is what church is all about.
One family, in particular, got to serve in a whole other capacity. When they knocked on the door to deliver the Thanksgiving ham, a young woman came outside and got into their vehicle. She told them she was working with a counselor from HPC and needed to leave with them. Almost without explanation, she threw her belongings into the trunk and asked them to drive her to the Dream Center. Without hesitation, the family packed her in and drove off.
As the volunteers were driving off, they called the Dream Center for instructions. I was dispatched from our side to go and meet up with them. I grabbed two of our faithful volunteers and we headed out.
The details are irrelevant but here's the bottom line. Within an hour, the young woman found herself in a safe place, with safe people around her, for the first time in many years. Saturday morning she woke up in an abusive, violent situation where she was forced to trade herself daily. Saturday night she went to sleep in clean bed, in a safe house, without fear.
The family that helped save her did not get up Saturday morning hoping to rescue a victim of human trafficking; they simply wanted to be a healing place for a hurting world. They showed up intending to deliver groceries; instead they delivered hope. Ordinary people taking part in extraordinary life change; that's what the Kingdom of God is all about.
All glory to Him!