Today I got the chance to go back and serve at Phoenix Rescue Mission with my friend, Cory Jones (if Cory looks familiar to you, it was his and Kristina’s wedding that I did and blogged about back on Day 4). And it felt great to go back and serve again, and this time bring someone else along to experience it.
This time, instead of prepping for a meal, we got to serve one, which allowed us to interact more directly with the homeless men and women who the mission serves. Once we took our places behind the counter and were set to serve, they opened the door and scores of people streamed in…
The first thing that hit me was how many of them didn’t look like they were living on the street. Many had relatively clean clothes on. Most looked they were in decent health. And then I realized why… It was because of the ministry of Phoenix Rescue Mission. These people had clean clothes because the people of the Mission was supplying them with clothes. They had plenty of good, healthy food because the people of the Mission fed them. They didn’t smell bad because the people of the Mission gave them a place to clean up. Many of them had a noticeably positive attitude because the people of the Mission taught them about the love of Jesus in their daily chapel services.
As Cory and I served alongside other volunteers, we were moved by the positive atmosphere. A contemporary Christian station was playing on the radio, people where joking around and laughing with each other. Some you could see were having tougher struggles, including some that were obviously struggling with meth addiction. But the kindness and dignity shown by everyone serving was definitely having an effect on the men and women in that room.
I was especially moved by one rather short, older man who came back up to the counter after he was done to say, ‘Thank you so much for coming and helping us today!’ He was so positive, and had such a look of genuine gratitude on his face as he said it, I fought back tears as I said ‘Your Welcome.’ It was a humbling experience.
Rarely has a couple of hours gone by so fast! The time just flew by as we served the evening meal. And at the end, as we hung up our aprons, Cory and I were already talking about the next time we could go back…
Thanks again to so many of you who have said ‘Count me in for future trips to Phoenix Rescue Mission.’ Details for future opportunities will be coming soon on this blog, through our Life Groups, and on our website at www.accessaz.org