Jesus is an example of God's love. He teaches us how to serve with an attitude of humility. Jesus loved people unconditionally, regardless of social status, gender, or race. We need to be an example of him and to be a light!
At the beginning of 2017, a few months after moving to Houston, I connected with an amazing group of people who are just as passionate about serving others as I am. We would meet up one Sunday out of every month at Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen during lunch to connect with the less fortunate and give them essential items like toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, socks, etc. and sometimes we would meet up for fun activities too. Our meet-ups were a way for us to come together and serve the less fortunate and connect as well.
I enjoyed the once-a-month meet-ups, so I decided to volunteer at the soup kitchen more often outside of volunteering with the group. Until this day, I still show up and help wherever I am needed. I help prepare and serve meals, wash the dishes, pick up trash around the property, and sort donated items, among other things. I've grown to know the staff and the population of people we serve. I feel like I am at home whenever I am there.
I'm fortunate that I get to talk to the people, hear their stories, share God's love with them, and encourage them to keep going. We never know how much of an impact we can make with a smile or just by taking the time to listen to people. It's rewarding to hear them express their gratitude to the volunteers who help and make it possible for them to receive a meal every day. It takes a team to keep the mission of the soup kitchen going.
During my time there, I have learned many things, and it helps me take the focus off of me and put it on others. I have learned the importance of giving back and being a blessing to others. I have learned the importance of being grateful for everything and not taking anything for granted. My time at the soup kitchen humbles me because I know that my circumstances could change at any moment. Serving the less fortunate brings out the best in me, and it brings out the best in others as well.
Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen frequently accept volunteers. The cool thing about volunteering is that you'll get to see familiar faces and meet new people. If you are ever in the Houston area, stop by! The people you'll meet will be so grateful you did!
Scriptures to meditate on:
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
"Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others." Philippians 2:4
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10