Beavers and Bakers- Day 8 Total $34,919
I had an experience this morning with a Beaver and Baker. No kidding. But not the way you think. Auburn United Methodist Church sits behind me. Every Friday, they run a large food pantry and distribution for families. As they shared and listened to some of the families who came to pick up food, they learned that some families were also dealing with some issues in their homes. My presence at the shack made it easy for our food pantry volunteers suggest they come around the corner and talk with me.
And that is how I came to know Ms. Beaver and Mr. Baker. Ms. Beaver reflected on her home leaking yesterday with the rain. Three rooms in her mobile home required her to put out bowls and pots to catch the dripping rain inside. Mr. Baker used to work in the concrete industry. Time and wear and tear from strenuous work has left him partially disabled and he cannot do many of the repairs in his home he used to do. His bathroom floor is severally weakened and parts of his ceiling are about to fall through from leaks he had before being able to get a new roof. Not being able to work and surviving on disability does not allow him to save up enough money to hire a contractor. For a few minutes I was able to hear their stories and explain our ministry and process. I think what made my day was Ms. Beaver wrapping me up in a big hug and smile and giving me a parting blessing. I am overwhelmed by the volume of people who are struggling but also glad and blessed we can do a small part; “to whom much is given, much is required.”
The Wesley Foundation students who weathered the rain last night did great and two girls slept in the guest shack. They came in rather late so I was not able to tell them how to lock the door…note to self for next year…After they awoke I asked them how their night went and how they slept. Smiling and giggling they told of how a girl who was evidently a little intoxicated was so curious she decided to open their door to check out this “cute little house”. All were surprised when she discovered people asleep-and newly awakened. Her shock of “people sleeping in there” triggered her boy friend to also take a look. It made for a fun story for the Wesley girls giving their time but reminds me that this can be a little risky with a bit of shock and awe as well.
Finally, last night was extremely meaningful as I sat by the fire late into the evening talking with a college guys discipleship group. We shared our thoughts on ministry with the poor and how we can serve in ways that are helpful, empowering, and build community. We discussed Jesus’ tenderness and help for people on the fringes caught in systems they cannot control while trying to manage what they can. Living on low incomes with little reserve is simply survival. Cheap food tends to be bad food and is why Alabama can be one of the highest ranking states for hunger and food insecurity and have high obesity rates at the same time. High cost rental housing options means a low income family spends over 50-60% of their income just for a house; we should not spend more than 30% on our house if we want to be stable and meet other basic needs. The list goes on.
ARM recognizes these inter-related factors. Our niche is home repair, housing, and serving with children. Mostly, it is about knowing we as the body of Christ have incredible opportunities and responsibilities in fostering discipleship as we serve. Just like muscles in our body, the more we work and exercise our faith, the stronger it becomes. But if we sit and do nothing, we will atrophy and weaken. Thank you for flexing your muscles and exercising your faith! It has made all the difference.
We get closer and closer to our goal! Approximately $15,000 more gets us to the $50,000. Thank you for every penny!!!!!
Below is another short video and a picture of where we are. At this point, spreading this to a few others and widening our net may be the best way to help us get there.
Quick update-while composing this my friend, Trenton, who borrowed $4.00 a few days ago came by on his bicycle. He had a huge smile on his face and with great pride handed me back $4.00. The apartment he needed came through so he is no longer homeless. What a great moment and testimony. He thanked me and we had a prayer together. God is faithful and good!
video link: https://vimeo.com/76989341