From November 2007 to today, I have handed out several Packs of Love packs. I have met many very interesting people during the past year and look forward to this coming year for sure. I also pray for God's protection and guidance for my outreaches. There have been months where I have gone without passing a single pack out dispite my eagerness to do so. I'm sure that's just God preparing my path and keeping me safe.
February of 2008, my boys and my sister's family outreached in downtown DC. We met a sweet man called Ariel. We got out of the vehicle down by the Vietnam Memorial and he was walking down the street by himself. I felt lead to speak with him for a moment and found out that he was originally from New York but had come across hard time. He was without his family and money. He told us he was working on getting employment and a home of his own. We gave him a Pack and went on about our evening. It was really sobering -- this man had such high spirits dispite his circumstances. I apparently had a few things to learn from this guy and God knew it!
During my time in Kansas, I met a man by the name of Tim. He had just arrived in Salina from St. Louis because he had made some enemies there and had to get away. He was traveling with his "girl" who was staying at a women's shelter while he was staying on the streets. He told me that he had only been with her a few months and that he had been married before. His wife had passed away and when that happend he found himself back on the streets. He expressed to me that his wife had been his "saving grace" because he was in prison when he married her. When he got out, she took him in and provided for him. Apparently they had a big house with all of the extras. She got sick and passed away and at that time, everything he had disappeared.
I know the streets probably make a person very...cynical. One constantly has to tkae care of himself and watch out for the other guy. Before I found him downtown on Sante Fe Street, I had gone to Burger King for lunch and something told me to get an extra meal, so of course I did. I gave it to him and he was thankful to have a warm meal as it was raining and cold. I told him what I had in the pack for him and he was confused as to why someone was just giving him things. He asked me if he could give me something in exchange for the pack but I told him that he didn't have to pay me for anything. I explain to him that I do it as my Christian outreach and that there were absolutely no strings attached and that he didn't have to do anything to repay me. He was thankful but remained a bit confused the duration of our time together.
Because of the big move from Kansas to Tennessee, I had to give up most of my Packs of Love inventory. I took an entire vanload of inventory to the local rescue mission
- 20+ bibles
- Three gallons of shampoo/conditioner and other travel-sized bottles
- 4-6 tarps
- various canned goods
- two huge totes of clothing
- over 45 bookbags
- over 100 tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes
- 10 plastic cups
- box of trash bags
Gosh I can't even name everything but needless to say I have some back tracking to do! I still had a very big inventory here in Tennessee but there are definately holes here and there. I know God will fill in the gaps though. He's faithful!
I have taken a couple of weeks for breaktime where Pink Cross is concerned. I finished up a blanket I was making for Shelley's approval after I arrived home. I'll let you know what she decides after she sees it in person. It is really beautiful but God will have to provide some serious yarn, time and shipping funds if these are going to work for next year's Christmas boxes. Below are the pictures I have of the blanket and hats.
The lighting is really bad - sorry about that. The actual colors are hot pink (Red Heart's "Pretty in Pink") and white. I am really happy with the way this pattern turned out. Shirley of Salina, Kansas gave me this pattern. She had used it for a different outreach and said it wears great. One thing's for sure, it looks great! I'm not sure if you can see it or not but the stitches are bubbled. The blanket has little pockets that really hold in the body heat.
When I sit on the couch with the blanket at my waist, the fringe covers my feet. Since I took this picture, I cut the fringe down to about two inches and it looks much better that way. Three strands of approximately five inch yarn is tied into every other stitch on the sides. It just finishes it off really nicely.
This is a picture of one of the white hats. We also do the opposite - pink hats with white crosses. The color on this picture is more accurate - same yarn used in the hat and the blanket. From July to December, we shipped out close to, if not more than 200 hats. To be honest, I have lost count! Hopefully this year we can get enough people involved to have a decent amount of people working on each of the different projects.
Well, my family is getting hungry. I hope you all have enjoyed this small peek into Matthew 25:40 Ministries. Please contact me if you feel lead to help out in either one of these areas or if you just want a bit more information.
By the way, if you talk to my husband, tell him thanks for getting me back up online! He has been so wonderful to me since our return home!