Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My first trip to the soup kitchen

On Friday my mom and I went to the soup kitchen.... I promise it didn't have anything to do with Jonathan's job loss.

I planned on volunteering in the soup kitchen at The Open Door Mission and taking Ethan and Logan with me. I checked out a book at the library about a soup kitchen and was going to read it to them before we went. Before I had a chance, they found the book. Ethan decided to read it out loud to Logan adding jokes and making them both laugh. When I heard them, I asked them if it was a funny book. I had no idea since I hadn't read it. Logan said no, but all the "hobos" in it were making them sad so Ethan was trying to make it better. Hobos? Hobos? Really?! I have no idea where they got that word but I thought it was confirmation that they really needed this experience!

On Friday afternoon I found out that the Mission actually had too many volunteers. So even though they really wanted to go and help feed the "hobos", I left the boys at home and just went with my mom.

I can still smell the place. The only way to describe it was a mix between Goodwill and a hospital cafeteria. It's a place run by men and where around 40 men live. So a bad smell wasn't really surprising :/  While I was there, I cut up cake, served food, and helped wash dishes. Some of the men were very grateful, though others wouldn't make eye contact. I'm sure that it is a very humbling experience for most of them. They were all on their best behavior though, and never gave any of us women or children any problems. Problems you say? What problems? That's what I was thinking... I wouldn't have even thought that was a concern until "Captain" (the man in charge of the kitchen) was praying over the food and prayed for God to protect us and take away any of the "unclean thoughts" the men may be thinking! All was well though :)

I'm definetly going to go back with the boys. Maybe as soon as next week.

I wrote a little more about it in my blog for herRochester.

This past Friday, my mom and I had the opportunity to volunteer at The Open Door Mission's soup kitchen. Volunteering at a place like this was something I've always wanted to do but never took the effort to find out how.

The experience definitely impacted me in many different ways. I was in awe of the people who were there, and are always there serving the people. It's one thing to say you love and care for someone, but it's another to show you care through service. "Captain", the man running the kitchen that night, told his story, how he was once one of the men who came to the Mission to get warm meals. Addicted to drugs, he went through their Christian Life Recovery Program and has been clean and working in the kitchen for 7 years. People like Captain, who love with service, are the kind of people who made me the woman I am today.

Everywhere I looked, I saw faces of men who reminded me of my father. As far back as I can remember he was an alcoholic. My mom prayed for years that he would stop drinking. Through the hard times, I can remember people who were really there for our family. People who came to help my mom pick my dad up off of the living room floor when he had passed out. People who came to pray with us when things got bad, and people who filled our cupboards with food and made sure we had a warm meal. I will forever be grateful to those people. People who not only said that they loved and cared for us, but proved it by being there even when it would have been easier to look the other way.

It's been years since my father had his last drink. Call it what you want, but we call it a miracle and an answer to my mother's prayers.

I plan on volunteering at The Open Door Mission again and bringing my oldest kids with me too. I want to be a person who loves the people in my life through service. And I know that there's still hope for those who walk through the doors of recovery. I've seen many of them come out the other side.


  1. OMG!! I laughed through this whole blog...hopefully I was supposed to. I am so thankful that Ryan is not the only politically incorrect little boy in the world...Hobo's?? LOL! I'm still laughing. And, I can't believe the guy prayed to take away any unclean thoughts...hahahaha!! Hopefully you left your hooker clothes at home. Ya just never know!

  2. We are all a heart beat away from being in need like these men. "There but by the grace of God go I". Something I will always remember my Mom saying when we would see Hobo's on the street.

    Love your Mom.