If you are a consistent reader of the Storehouse blog, then you probably know my deep affection for numbers. So, please, allow me to dazzle you with a few.
In October, we served 439 families in five shopping days. The first four averaged 100. Then we served 39 on Halloween night. We will only open on three Thursdays in November because the last Thursday is Thanksgiving. If all 439 families want to come again in November, in our three weeks, we’d serve 146 or so each week. I can’t imagine.
This week it was just 102. Just. Sheesh.
You’d think, under the crush of so many people, we’d lose IT. By IT, I mean the “thing” we’ve got that keeps people coming. And as I’ve written several times, that “thing” is the grace of Jesus.
Grace is giving others what they haven’t earned; what they could never earn. That’s what we’re striving for from the front door to the back. No matter how many clients come. No matter how they behave or their demeanor.
For many of us, gifting clients with grace is become routine. It’s the very reason we come. We look forward to the next opportunity to show it. Our language for that is "loving on people." We love on people, that's what we DO.
I had the opportunity to see serving in the Storehouse through brand new eyes this week. Our volunteer, Kathy, who has volunteered in the Ministry Center for five years, just began serving in the Storehouse. She’s done a little case management for us in the past, so I didn’t think she’d have any trouble stepping into the Storehouse. But there is a small learning curve. And she pointed that out to me in a text she sent after we served.
Hey Mike, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed serving along side of y'all on Thursday. In the beginning, hiding out in kitchen sounded really good. Then when I started as a personal shopper, I thought oh no, with my anxiety level, will I be able to wait patiently while someone is taking their time shopping. Then the children came in. Only my dear friends know about how the little people calm me. So, the Lord showed me to treat every one of those clients as His children. Anytime you need help I'll be available on Thursdays.
This is the goal of the entire Ministry Center, whether we are working with a client in case management, or receiving guests in our warming station, or serving hungry families in the Storehouse.
To treat every person as one of His children.
How could our homes, our churches, our schools, our city, change when everyone who knows Jesus makes this their goal?
Well, I can tell you one way things change. Lots and lots and lots of people will show up to receive that treatment. They’ll come over and over.
So get ready.
In closing, I’d just like to thank everyone who is supporting our clients through bringing food to the Storehouse. One of our city’s churches will bring us food from their drive over the past two weeks. Last year, it was 880 pounds! What a difference two weeks makes!
Please do what you can to help our clients, from prayer to donations and everything in between.
I am the Storehouse Director and get the privilege of writing about the people that Jesus loves.
Contact Mike Rush at firstname.lastname@example.org for all things "Volunteer".
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