Our mission: To love and serve the least of these….
Feeding their souls, their minds, and their bodies.
This is not your typical “feeding ministry.” This mission evolved as a response to the bible study known as “The Truth Project.” Once this study came to a close, several of us felt called to act on behalf of biblical truths we learned. We chose to get involved with people who are less fortunate; those who are living on the streets or very close to being defined that way. We contemplated ways we could make a difference as well as researched other homeless missions. We learned that there are programs that feed, some that provide housing or shelter, and others that assist with special services.
We also learned the collaborative effort to join these resources together was missing. We decided to begin with a simple cook out every Friday night, which began in January, 2010. We set up on Russell Street at the Outreach Fellowship Church the first Friday night and were amazed when over 95 homeless men, women, and children attended. We served hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, juice, and a few goodies in a bag to carry them through the weekend. As the weeks went by over 100 people consistently came and were fed.
One of the neat aspects of this mission is that each week students join us to help serve. They haul the grill back and forth, serve, and share in this mission of giving. We believe this is such an important part because we are involving students who typically would not have exposure to these types of struggles. We hope that as they experience this project, it will impact their hearts for the rest of their lives. We never know what may result from one life that is moved to make a difference in the life of another. We are pleased with how Operation Engage is already making a difference in our community. We are building a cooperative spirit of missions, volunteerism, philanthropy, and following God’s call to love His people, regardless of who they are. We are all His children.
Since the mission began, we have learned a great deal and are continuing to be taught even more. As we’ve engaged in conversation with those we serve and each other while serving, we are learning that it’s not just about going and feeding them, it’s about the time we spend time with them and each other that is changing all of us and our community. Maybe in these moments where we see the direction life has taken some people, we can try to understand the importance of the choices we have to make every single day. Together we can pour into the lives of those who come to be fed and build leaders who consistently care and are committed to a better outcome for them…and who we are becoming. We hope that by building trust and consistently being there for them, loving them on behalf of the body of Christ, we are feeding not only their stomachs, but their hearts. Maybe we can instill some hope which could incentivize someone to take steps and move beyond living on the streets. We realize that this is a process and that God is the ultimate resource. We are hoping that we can meet other needs through this mission in addition to food and fellowship. We hope to be a stepping stone, a light to reflect God’s unconditional love.