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February 10, 2005

All talk and no action?

“I always talked about wanting to go feed the homeless on the holidays and whenever that day came, I was no where near downtown or wherever the soup kitchens were. It was always all talk for me and no action.”

Paula is one of the newest members to the Burritos and Socks team. She wrote a testimonial on the Kaleo web site and I think it speaks to everyone whether they are serving or not because we were/are all at the point sometime. Wanting to help others and following through are two different things. But the satisfaction from actually getting out there and doing something is so rewarding that you find it hard to believe you waited so long. Now some of you may be reading this and saying “sure it’s easy for you, you’ve been doing this for over a year now” and those you know me may be saying how easy it is for me because I have the spiritual gift of helping. The truth is, I didn’t want to do this. Several years ago, when I lived in Phoenix, I used to work over-night security downtown and saw enough “homeless” people who were either flat out crazy or just refused to get a job because they hated responsibility – many of them were actually very skill artist or craftsmen. So how did I become the contact person for the Burritos and Socks Ministry? In late of 2003 our church, Kaleo Fellowship, decided it needed to get missional. It was time we became more outwardly focused and share the gospel with those not in our church. So we had a few ministries planned. We were going to go down to Mexico and help build houses for those in need, we were going to volunteer at the local shelter for homeless families and of course the Burritos and Socks Ministry. I had seen enough homeless wasting their lives and couldn’t see myself loving these people. I couldn’t go on the Mexico trip so that left the safe, non-committal comfort of the shelter. I could serve whenever I felt like it and if I wasn’t there, someone else would be there to take care of them. Funny how God works.I’m a helper. I step up when no one else does. I don’t make the plans but I make them happen. It’s my gift, so when everyone signed up for the Mexico trip and the BSM sign up sheet was blank, I stepped up. I figured that it just needed to get started and then people would flock to it and I could get back to my other plans (this is where I think I heard God giggle). The first night was kind of a shotgun start. We were not prepared but just went out and did something. We didn’t even have an idea where to look for homeless. The second week, we had a better idea of what we were doing and even had a better turnout. By the third week we had started our routine and were beginning to recognize people and be recognized.Unfortunately, the shelter ministry sort of faded away and no one new was joining the Burritos and Socks Ministry. In addition to that, I ended up being the one to coordinate getting the supplies. Either I got the supplies myself or called someone to pick them up for that week and I kept track of what we needed to get each week. So here we are, over a year later and I’m still heading the ministry. But I don’t regret a minute of it. Even when I felt drained or frustrated or doubted our efforts, it was a growing period for me that I could not experience any other way. I’ve grown in my ability to share the gospel and continue to grow in my understanding of the scriptures by seeing it lived out for good or for bad. The best part is, that no matter how willing or able I am to participate, I can always go out Thursday and be filled spiritually. Whether I’m sharing the gospel, showing Christ’s love or just listening to the conversations of others, I always go home satisfied in Christ.Please join us Thursday nights at 6:30pm in the Kaleo church kitchen to make burritos, roll-up socks and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. Contact me at burritos@kaleochurch.com for more information.Read Paula’s testimony on Ministry – Burritos and Socks

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