Hello friends! As you may know, I went on a mission trip to Portland OR with my youth group a few weeks ago. This is part one of a story I wanted to share with you. :)
It was hot, I was exhausted, and despite my efforts I couldn't sleep. I then proceeded to give God a little lecture about how 'I really need to sleep so I'm not a grumpy cow in the morning. Seriously God, can you please help me fall asleep? I can't serve these people if I'm not emotionally preset. Pllleeeaaassssssssseeeeeeeeeee.'
And after I had prayed my whinny little prayer, and laid in my sleeping bag for a while God really clearly spoke to me. "Elissa, you need to clean the floors."
"Clean the floors"
"Ummm, like now? You want me to get up and clean these laminate Sunday school classroom floors?"
We arose at 4:00am to eat some breakfast, pray, and hop in the van to head downtown. We helped prep. breakfast, set up, and then we began serving meals. It was very overwhelming work- people were pouring in by the masses, hungry and cold. Some were covered in sores, some yelled at themselves, while others were so high they didn't know their own name.
Homelessness isn't new to me, but the heaviness of these peoples hardships burdened my heart. We made a point to treat our street friends with dignity, as we would to any person. It was so sad to see faces light up when I called them 'sir' or 'mam', or made eye contact as I wished them a good day.
I had been periodically sitting down with people and near the end I sat across from a lady finishing her breakfast. You guys, this woman was so dirty. Her black bare feet were contrasted to her pale skin. Her hair was greasy, her clothes had obviously been well loved, and dirt encrusted her long fingernails.
She had ended up with eight lid-less styrofoam containers filled with eggs and gravy. Stuffing these containers in a reusable tote bag, that obviously didn't have room, I got down on the floor with her. She showed me her second bag and the bottom was lined with squished blackberries. The juice was bleeding through, creating a huge mess. A huge, huge, mess.
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