so far, so good

The last couple days have been pretty busy and exciting. With the help of a few other volunteers, Eric, Miranda, Heather, and I cooked and served lunch yesterday at the soup kitchen. We made spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes, with basil and oregano from the garden, and polish sausage. Also collard greens from the garden.

Then last night we welcomed four women to live in the house. Two are married, with husbands staying at the Salvation Army men's shelter (they should be able to have dinner with us here most days). And one is a grandma. A good group, who seem to get along well and are happy about their new home. There is one more room available, but that's being saved for a family.

And a man showed up at the door after we locked up last night. He was drunk and shirtless. Asking for food and clothes and a blanket, which I brought out to him (with a pillow too). He slept on the porch. This morning he thanked me when I opened the house and brought him out some coffee, then he left. His name is Nathaniel.

So far, so good. Though I've had that nervous-excited feeling that comes when you're doing something that pushes you further than you've gone before. But I like the atmosphere and work here so far.

The only thing I'm hesitant about is being in charge of the emergency fund, which can be used when people come asking for money for something (bus tickets, bills, ID cards, etc). I don't think I want to do that. Someone today was already asking if I was able to sign checks. And I don't want to be looked at that way, like a rich benefactor. I understand that people can be helped in many more ways if we have that money to spend, but I'm not sure I want to help people that way. Dependence on money is not something I want to promote. And it's such a temptation for people to be dishonest in their requests; it's not the same way when we're giving out food or clothes. Then there's the personal tempations that come when we take the power of money into our own hands. I've stepped away from the problem of money in my personal life and I don't think I want to step back into it here.

The good news is that there's lots of other ways to help people. Jesus showed us that.