I needed to do laundry today. I don't mean this in a "oh I have a full basket I should wash some stuff" kind of way. I mean in a "if I don't do laundry today, we might all be naked soon" kind of way.
I washed no dirty clothes this morning.
Guess what I did instead? Remember my Brothers & Sisters post? Well, I meant it. I have been praying like crazy over what I am supposed to be doing for the people in my community. I feel very well established with our commitment to Heart for Africa - it is a major part of our lives and we will always continue to support that ministry and travel to Swaziland to work. Always. But what about in the meantime? What about my brothers and sisters here? I kept praying, knowing that was not enough.
Boy did I get an answer to prayer today.
I went out with Streetwatch today, an outreach ministry to the homeless here in my city. I had heard of them years ago and the name never left me. I sent them a message on facebook and they graciously invited me to join them going out this week.
So instead of doing laundry, I spent the morning putting together hygiene bags and snack bags and then went out with Michele & Melissa, two of the incredible members of Streetwatch, and visited some of their homeless friends in a tent city. I was beyond bummed when I had to cut out early in order to pick the kids up from school.
And guess what happened while we were out? Something crazy amazing. I knew I wouldn't be super-helpful today. Most of their focus is on the relationships they build with the homeless people in our community and since I'm brand-spanking-new, it was just my first chance to start those relationships. I guess God knew how much I wanted to be of service today. There was one man at one of the tent cities who only spoke Spanish. He'd only just moved to that particular location three days ago - the only place I was able to visit today. The Streetwatch folks have known about him for much longer and had been really wanting to talk to him. I had never told them I spoke Spanish when I volunteered. It only came up when I was standing right in front of him.
Turns out he'd been wanting to talk to the leader of Streetwatch for awhile. I was brought to tears as he went on and on thanking her, sending her blessings, telling her he prays for her family, how he can tell she has a strong and noble heart. We talked with him for awhile, listening to him. I can only imagine how often he actually gets to have a conversation, given that he's homeless and we found him today in a tent city where no one else speaks Spanish. Streetwatch provides snacks & basic supplies but also asks people what they need specifically. Guess what he wanted? A Bible in Spanish. He only has an English one. A man living in a tent city when given the chance to ask for something, asked for a Bible in his own language. That's all. Humbling. So humbling to me, especially since when I got home there was a package on my front door from amazon.com - a new hair straightener. I wanted to kick the box.
In all honesty, I didn't do much to help the homeless population today. Instead, God used me to interpret a message of thanks and gratitude to the woman who has been working tirelessly with them and advocating for them for well over a decade. Wow.
Yup... the Cassells might all be naked soon, but I still think this morning was a better use of my time. :)