Back in January I wrote about the beginning of my experience at a local soup kitchen. Soup and More has been operating for over two years and consistently serves between 50 and 75 meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. I originally volunteered to help out with this project to fulfill the requirements of one of my courses. The commitment has put a strain on my schedule but in the end the prof’s goal will be met. I will have made a connection with the lives that the other folks in our society live.
My first post was quite tentative. I had worked my first shift and really didn’t know any of the volunteers or the patrons. That has changed over eight weeks. The volunteers are amazing. Every week another meal is prepared by essentially the same women. Another group of about five, spends the three hours visiting and sometimes praying with those who have come for food. There are always at least two serving for a total of ten to twelve regular volunteers.
I’ve spent time at the serving table and on visiting. Both jobs are rewarding, but it’s when you sit and visit with James, Don, Dale, Jen, Donna, Andrew, Nancy, Alex, Wade, Scott, Eric, Duarte, and Doug that you really see something of their lives, their struggles.
Conversation is sometimes not easy. The standard question “So, what do you do for a living?” doesn’t really fit here, although, some of these folks do have jobs. Usually asking “How have you been this week?” is enough to get a conversation going.
Soup and More is a ministry, Bibles and devotionals are spread across the tables and from time to time read. The volunteers are serious about bringing Christ into the lives of those who come for soup, Each session opens with prayer, but prayer is also an integral part of the meal and often volunteers are seen praying with patrons for health, for lost articles, for opportunities.
I have four more weeks of scholarly commitment to Soup and More. After that, we’ll see. I may not be able to walk away.