Saturday, September 21, 2013

Seattle's Union Gospel Mission

A group of 7, including Takeshi and I went downtown this evening to serve food at the Union Gospel Mission.  This is an amazing place that feeds mostly men 3 meals a day everyday of the week.  When the food runs out, they are done till the next meal.  It was my first time going inside the building.  I have driven by many times and have seen the line of people waiting outside to go in.  We arrived and were greeted by very upbeat, happy people.  They quickly showed us how we could help and what to do.  Takeshi, passed out apples and bananas for almost 2 hours.  I had a wet rag and cleaned tables and cleared away empty trays of food.  

After we finished Takeshi and I had a bit of time to talk and discuss the evening and what we saw, felt and heard....even smelled.  People are hungry.  That is my #1 awareness.  One man needed more water to drink but instead of just getting up to fill his glass he took his whole tray of food with him just to get a drink - he couldn't imagine being away from his plate for even few seconds - he was that hungry.  

As I cleared trays that were empty and dirty from men who had eaten and finished I noticed more than a few times that the plate was still hot on the tray - empty but still hot.  They ate fast.

I watched one person walk to toss out his food - a very full plate into the garbage but another man stopped him and said "Hey!  That looks good I will eat it!'  

Many people said thank you while I wiped the tables and seats.  

I felt....I'm embarrassed to say this.... I felt scared to make eye contact.  I would sometimes say "Hi" but never said how are you?  By the end of the 2 hours I was feeling more comfortable and brave but not nearly how I would like to be, not how Jesus would have been.  It's a starting point for me.  I'm looking forward to going again.  This was a good choice.

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