The Gospel According to Tide and Little Caesars

Greetings to all!!

It has been a while since I blogged and that is because I have been immersed in the calling God has placed on me. However, I realize that the blessings I experience are multiplied when I am able to share them with you, so I promise to blog at least once a month moving forward!

So, we made it through the winter, which culminated in that awful few days in February where we were bombarded with cold temperatures and icy conditions. Through it all, our awesome crew of volunteers (affectionately know as the “Skeleton Crew” forevermore) kept 30 plus friends warm, safe, and fed at our Emergency Warming Shelter. And for the first time, another CP church opened their doors when Brenthaven could not, so much thanks and love to the good folks at Mt Sharon CP!!

We are now moving through spring and headed towards a hot and humid summer to be sure. Through it all, I continue to serve the friends I have made who are experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty, relying all the way on your love, prayers, and support.

A new aspect of Sacred Sparks has been the recently launched Laundry Ministry.  This is a very unique and simple way to show God’s love to others and to take church outside the walls of our church buildings. One of the many struggles of being homeless or living in poverty is how to keep your clothes clean. Without easy access to laundry facilities, money to make the washers and dryers turn on, and soap to make the clean happen, it is a real challenge to keep your clothes clean and dry.

So, with the help from some very creative folks, inside about 15 CP churches sit containers for collecting quarters. Laundry soap has already been donated by many. Once a week, the word goes out that the Laundry Ministry will take place on a certain day.

This is a great thing for sure, but it is MORE, so much MORE…

The pickup of our friends is almost circus-like. We see how many people and how many bags of laundry we can fit inside my handy, dandy van, also known as the “Spark-Mobile.” They come out of their camps and walk out of their apartments with smiles on their faces, pushing shopping carts full of dirty clothing and blankets.  We exchange hellos and hugs, load up and head to the laundry. If we need to make two or three trips to get everyone there, that is what we do.

We then roll up to the place and unload. We must be quite a sight! Yesterday, the attendant who is usually there finally decided to ask exactly what in the world we were doing. My friend Robert took the lead and explained what was going on and she finally understood. Later in the day, she called me aside and said, “I don’t have much but hopefully this will help some” as she slipped a wrinkled $5 bill into my hand.

Then one of our friends pulled me aside after we got clothes loaded and said “Will we be able to get pizza again today??”

You see on our first wash day, several folks were hungry so I drove to Little Caesars and picked up some pizzas. This has become a bit of a tradition as we break crust together while the water cleans the clothes.

My friend tells me it is like a field day for them to get out together and share a meal of pizza, something they do not get very often.

While the clothes are cleaned and dried, we talk, we laugh, we eat, we help each other fold.

Yesterday, in addition to the $5 bill, I was given two stuffed animals from the claw machine as an offering.

Then we packed up inside the van, clothes now clean instead of dirty, bellies now full instead of empty, people existing in loving community instead of in lonely isolation, and everyone went back “home”

We gather, we have bread, we have water, we love and support one another, we cry, we laugh, we talk about God, we offer what we can, and we dismiss in peace and love.

Go ahead, you just try to tell me and my friends we are not having church at the laundromat, I dare you… 🙂
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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Sweatt
    May 20, 2015 @ 21:35:57

    I would like your permission to reprint this article in our Newsletter.

    Karen Sweatt, Mt. Denson CP Church

    Reply

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