Our colony has supported this homeless shelter for many years, but it's only been since last June that I've been involved on a personal level. Candice Cancade came to our colony to share about the work they're doing. That day she also came to our school to do a presentation, where she invited us to come for a tour. We accepted the invitation and went there, on our annual school field trip and Candice herself, and John Jansen gave us a tour. I didn't really know what to expect, but what I saw blew me away. I was probably walking around with my mouth hanging open as my eyes and mind were trying to take it all in: classroom, kitchen, dining hall, fitness room, clinic, sleeping area, stocked storage rooms.... Everything neat and tidy and waiting for the patrons.
|Banquet guest gift at each plate|
A few weeks after that tour, when the kitchen at Siloam Mission was being renovated, we prepared and served one of the evening meals. Again, I was impressed how well organized and efficient that kitchen crew was. It was a joy working with them and especially knowing that together we're making a difference in the lives of people in need. I'm looking forward to volunteering there in the future. Thank you, Candice and John for opening that door for us!
It was a four-course meal; the type where you have to figure out which fork to pick up first. No, we don't dine like that every day, for most of us, it was the first time. Some of us were actually able to give pointers on fine dining etiquette... thanks to being enlightened to such grand occasions through books. (: Here's what the menu looked liked:
As splendid as everything was, for me it all came down to the quote I started out this post with, 'Our fingerprints remain on the lives of those we touch.' And that's what this was all about, making a difference in the lives of people who are in need; giving them hope, a new purpose in life. It was heartwarming to listen to people who have been touched by Siloam Mission and who now serve there. Also to get a sense of the history of the place, the dreams that have been realized along the way and the grand dreams that the people running the place still have. Dreams that all of us can help make a reality.
Every year thousands of men, women, and their families face the holiday season coping with poverty and homelessness. You can make a difference in their lives. You can help Siloam Mission and other homeless shelters make sure everyone can feel at “Home for the Holidays.”
When I ponder homelessness, I always think about 'Many Mansions' by Moe Bandy. I love that song and am touched each time I hear it.
|"Hope is a thing with feathers that perches on the soul,"|
Said the homeless young man standing there strong against the cold
I reached into my pocket said, "A penny for your poetry."
But when I handed him a dollar bill he was shaking his head at me
And he said these words to me
"In my Fathers house are many mansions,
Though tonight some make their beds along the streets
Where I’ve seen lives still by winters bitter chill,
In my Fathers house there’s a mansion for me."
"Sleep is a silent pleasure behind doors with deadbolt locks.
But it’s a concrete nightmare chance you take on the streets
In a cardboard box.
But I know about the eye of the needle, what will come to pass
When the least of us shall be first and the first now shall be last
Who’s homeless now I ask?"