Homeless Outreach Ministry
Homeless Outreach Ministry (from the March/April newsletter
During a recent bout of bone chilling cold weather there we were, a sturdy bunch willing to brave the cold while offering some small comfort to those even colder. We’d left our warm beds and homes to meet, once again, at the Gallery Espresso prior to walking frozen squares looking for men and women who survived the night and were in need of the wagon warmth we had to share. Sure enough, a few half frozen, purple lipped, jaw hammering folks came along and gladly accepted what we had. In an earlier report I spoke of one man who was literally near death from the brutal cold. With the help of a kind Target employee a reduced cost sleeping bag had been arranged Once given the bag the desperately cold man shouted out shivering words of appreciation as he ran to rest under his bridge home in unfamiliar warmth.
This week that same man was sitting on a park bench, no longer gray with hypothermia, sharing time and space with his buddies of similar fate. He reports his sleeping bag is stowed away in a safe place and is put to use each night. This man is not a picture of glowing health and vitality, but he certainly does have an aliveness that wasn’t present that recent life robbing bitter cold morning.
On Saturday, Feb. 20th , I was first to arrive at the coffee shop/meeting place. As I sat waiting for the others, two nearby ladies and I began talking. Seems they were visiting, one from Merritt Island, Florida and her sister from Long Island, New York. We babbled away about one thing and then another… the reason for their presence in Savannah… my reason for my presence and that of others due to arrive, in the coffee shop. I told them about our homeless mission. How we would meet in that place of total comfort and then wander out into a space not quite so comfortable. They were mere happenstance contacts who were kind enough to share a few minutes of their visitor schedule with me. Eventually, they decided to leave and continue their tourist travels. Prior to leaving one of the women came to me with an extended fist, fingers folded around something she wanted to place in my hand. We shared eye contact as that exchange happened, as well as, kind words of farewell…. “Good journey“….”Drive safely“…. “Be well“… etc. As they walked out the door I opened my hand wondering what sweet, small token of contact had been left there. What I found was a massive gift of heartfelt generosity that took my breath away and left tears in my eyes. There in my hand was a folded fifty dollar bill!!! $50.00!!
I ran to the window, found them just on the other side of the large plate glass and bowed with folded hands of gratitude and appreciation. I would have gladly kissed their feet were that an accepted local practice. Since it is not, I gladly groveled. All they did was return sweet smiles along with head nods and continue their tourist wanderings. Whatever motivated this lady to leave her gift in my hand is still unknown to me. I choose to think of it as a gift from a visiting angel.. A Long Island, New York Yankee angel who helped in ways she’ll never know, but will be thought of with grateful Southern kindness as we use her gift to help the homeless park people of Rebel Savannah, Georgia. Do come back, ya heah? And thank y’all evah so much….. Yet another example of God working in totally unexpected wonderful ways….
PS: For anyone wanting to join us, please come to the Gallery Espresso around 9:00 to 9:15 each Saturday morning. Christopher can answer any questions you might have. Adeeb and I can, also.
If you wish to donate money, please do. There is a donation box on the table in back of the sanctuary. You can also give money to the office specifically identified for the Homeless Project. Donated items should be discussed with one of us as we have to consider storage, spoilage, potability, transport….. (Also, I’m truly sorry I thought the late coming helper from church was a homeless man! Please forgive me for my unknowing oversight.)
Speaking for the Team,