We hit the streets yesterday at about 3:00 with about 125 care bags (our goal was 100 and we're not sure how we were able to make 25 more....could it be God?). Eleven of us divided up and walked along the Willamette and under the Burnside Bridge just handing out care bags and having casual chats with whoever we could, praying and asking the Lord to open our eyes.
I decided to take some medical supplies with us also to help clean up anyone with wounds, which turned out to be just for Charles. Charles was so happy to clean up his cut that went to the knuckle bone he had patched up with a Band-aid, some other piece of material, and black electrical tape. He could be the next McGeyvor. Maybe McGeyvor spent a while on the streets to develop his skills, because these guys are geniuses! It makes me realize how many items I don't need and how many items I take for granted.
It was a different experience taking a group rather than just going with friends or on our own. I haven't been able to talk with all of the members of our group yet to see what they thought of it. I did come back wondering how well we led, what we could have done or said differently to help prepare them, etc. We realized on the way back that taking groups downtown is like a double ministry, to the group we take with us and to the homeless community. Honestly, we were not really prepared for that, but I guess you gotta learn somehow! We had a great time and hope everyone else did too. God met me there as usual and my prayer is that everyone else had moments that changed their view of homeless people and allowed God more room to move and shake.
And to all of you who prayed and donated items for the gift bags, THANK YOU!