We’ve all seen them – those people at street corners and along the roadways holding their homemade cardboard signs stating they are hungry and homeless. The message they are quietly sending is that they have no food, no home, no job. What do we do? Do we give them money? Do we speak with them? Or do we simply pass by them? Most likely, we have taken all of these paths at various times in our lives. But because of the efforts of some caring people, the answer to this dilemma has become a bit easier.
Ready-to-give bags have been prepared for us to take with us for the time when we meet a person in need. The bag contains a bottle of water, crackers, raisins and other healthy snacks, information relating to services available in the Carlisle area, and a copy of “Daily Bread” or “Upper Room”. A supply of these bags is placed in both Barnitz and Mt. Zion churches. All we need to do is pick up one – or a few – to give to people in need. The bags are prepared with the help of the Missions Committee, but we can also donate the items included in the bags so more will be ready when needed. Donations are welcome! Please check with Ruth or any member of the Missions Committee about donations before you bring them to church, or watch for announcements in the church bulletin.
Ruth March (Barnitz) says of this ministry, “…this is truly a calling from God and I said ‘yes’. When someone turns around after receiving the bag and says ‘God bless you’ or ‘you are a Godsend’, I feel so blessed that I’m a part of helping out in some small way. The thought of the homeless going hungry and thirsty throughout the day and night really began tugging at my heart.” The purpose of this ministry is to help the homeless, but Ruth adds the volunteers who help to hand out the bags “feel blessed as well”.
“If God tugs at your heart about doing something to help others in any way, please listen,” Ruth says. She answered “yes” about three years ago, and has been blessed mightily ever since. Is there something tugging at your heart? We need to ask God every day to show us opportunities to use our talents to reach others. Ruth relays Jesus’ message from the Bible, “If you do this unto the least of these, you do it for Me.” It might not be an easy path, but just ask Ruth. She knows how blessed we are when we say “yes”.
*this Storyteller was originally shared in 2015
(member of Mt. Zion and contributor to our Storyteller blogs)