Sometimes the children make the biggest difference

"We had a good time serving last weekend. I was quite worried, having a 12-month old and a 36-month old to tend to.  I am so glad that we still came.  I was not able to minister much to the families at the motel we served, but surprisingly, in a very simple and quite way, my young daughter was.  My daughter Sarah, just turned 3 last month.  She has a diagnosis of mild Autism.  She is very high functioning, and in a typical preschool, but she has extreme social anxieties and shuts down a lot in social settings.  She's very good out in the community and I did not expect her to be a problem at all for the outreach.  She came and sat down in a little chair and was quite and well-behaved.  I had on the other hand had the daunting task of chasing my 12 month old around.

One of the families living at the motel we went to had at least two children, girls, probably around the ages of 7-8 and 4.  The 2 girls came outside, but the mother would only peak her head out the door.  She would not come outside the entire time we were there.  The older girl brought the younger girl out and they got food and the older girl ran around the parking lot playing with the older kids both from our group and those living in the motel (that was really special too - our group host had orchestrated a lot of outdoor games such as Simon Says and Red Rover for the older kids to play).  The younger girl avoided all of that and seemed very timid and afraid.  Other adults from our small group including myself tried to approach her and interact with her and she only drew back more.  She never verbally responded to any of us.  She saw my daughter sitting in a small chair and there was another similar chair about 10 feet away.  On her own initiative, without anyone suggesting it to her, she grabbed the chair and dragged it over to where my daughter was sitting, pulled it up beside her and just sat down next to my daughter. 

 The two girls sat together for about an hour and a half.    They just sat with each other, smiling back and forth, neither saying a word. I went over to her to ask her what her name was and she wouldn't answer me.  In fact she wouldn't say a word to me or Sarah.  While she wouldn't speak to anyone, she did appear to take comfort in Sarah and was not afraid of her.  She brought out her purse, filled with some of the toys from her care package, and showed them to Sarah and I.  She even opened up her Goldfish package that was in the care box and shared them with Sarah.  It was really a beautiful sight to see both girls truly ministering to each other.  This little girl didn't say a word to anyone, but she sat with Sarah for over an hour and a half and appeared to be very happy to have a friend and someone to meet her right where she was at. 

Thank you for this opportunity to allow my family to serve, and give my daughter such a special and meaningful experience, be it all such a simple one, for a child that truly has significant social challenges. 

Love Sometimes Comes in the Form of a Haircut and Coffee Pot

There is a little church that meets in a motel where people without homes live called the Breakfast Together Outreach. Most of the people there are either the working poor or they are “transitional homeless” – they’re either coming off the streets or heading back down to the streets. Many of them have lost hope and have resigned themselves to the fact that they are helpless to change their life.

Every Sunday, we serve breakfast and have a worship service. Our goal is to give them food for their bodies in the form of breakfast and food for their souls in the form of friendship while we telling them about the hope they can have in Jesus and that God has a plan for their lives. This Sunday was extra special since we were also able to impact their dignity with a free haircut provided by a local salon who setup shop at the motel!

Later that day we decided that since Starbucks was no longer willing to donate coffee that we would have to find another way to have coffee available. We decided to take an offering at the service starting next Sunday so that the people attending could have the privilege of helping to buy a coffee pot. The most we’ve ever got in any offering was $12 - we don’t pass an offering basket, we just have a small bucket near the resource table where people can give if they want to. We thought that an offering was the right way to do it even though it would take several months to raise enough money to buy a big coffeemaker.

The very next day, we had generous donation of a beautiful coffee urn. The gift was a much more beautiful coffeemaker than we would have purchased. We all got goose bumps realizing that God had orchestrated all of this. He decided that the folks in the motel not only didn’t need to buy a coffee pot, but that they deserved a really nice one!

We are so grateful. I can tell you that the people at the little church that meets at this motel in Santa Ana will be so blessed by the generosity and especially to hear the story of how God loves them enough to send them a love note in the form of a coffeemaker.

-Ron W.

Posted via email from Breakfast Together Outreach