From living under a bridge to serving soup

Before you read this story, simply note who is blessed here. It’s not just Erin, who got off the streets and is now reaching out to help others. It’s not just Isabelle, who got to serve Erin and serve alongside her. It’s not just Donnie, who was part of the whole thing and saw the miraculous transformation. It’s not the team that got to share in her story and God’s glory. It’s everyone who shows up at this soup kitchen hungry, because there are people full of faith who are serving them and praying for them. And it’s all of us, because we all get to share in God’s glory.

In Life Missions, we honor God by meeting people at their place of need. For many people in Palm Beach County and around the world, that need is a simple meal. Christ Fellowship partners with St. George’s to serve food to the homeless and needy. One of our volunteers Isabelle shared this recent experience with us:

“Thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve my God by serving at the soup kitchen each month. I am coming up on 9 years serving at St. George’s and tonight had to be a highlight.  As I have watched the ‘guests’ come and go through the years the one thing that kept hurting was how hard it must be for a woman to be on the streets. I have spoken to some of the women but they have really never shared what their life is like.  Tonight all that changed. We had a new volunteer who signed up before Christmas and really wanted to volunteer sooner but we had finished our days for the year.

She came and she kindly let me go through my “spiel” about how the soup kitchen worked.  She went to her car for something and Donnie asked for her name. “Is it Erin?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied. “How did you know?”

He recognized her as a woman who slept under the bushes outside these doors for years. He went on to say that she was usually very high on drugs.

When she came back in, Donnie talked to her and then she came and told us her story.  We both sat there and cried as she explained how she had been at Christ Fellowship years ago and had been earning six figures as a management level employee at a local business, but became addicted to pain medications.

From there, she lost everything and everyone in her life and ended up on the street for over 6 years. She stood there and told us the horrors she had endured and how God reached down and pulled her out of the mire and she has been clean for 4 years. She wants everyone who is hurting to experience the love of the Lord she is now living in.

As Erin served meals in the dining room, so many of her former “friends” remembered her. She confidently told them how she had been rescued by God and how he would help them to get free of the drugs and alcohol.  I listened as one young men replied, “I know, I know but that just isn’t for me.”  She shared her story again with the others who were serving in the early group. Our amazing team was so supportive and loving. We prayed with her and prayed for the young man who said God isn’t for him. We have hope for him and I know she will be a good influence on his life over time. I received a thank-you text from Erin before I even arrived home! She plans to return to serve again on Monday.

The Lord touched my heart tonight. I am blessed to be a part of Life Missions at Christ Fellowship.”