Monday nights have quickly become my favorite time of the week. It is a night filled with laughter, kids running around a big backyard, great food, good conversation, and a deep sense that you are a part of something really beautiful that is bigger than yourself. Every Monday night, we come together as a community and share a meal together. It sounds so simple but yet the rhythm of this meal has created a sacred time and space for genuine fellowship. Everyone is equal. Everyone is valued. Everyone contributes. And everyone is at home.
Monday nights have helped me better understand why eating with people was a regular part of Jesus’s ministry. Setting aside a special time to have a meal with someone feeds both the body and the soul. It is no wonder why most sacred festivals and ceremonies around the world include a special gathering of people with food and drink. A wonderful meal with the right persons in the right place has the potential to change the course of history. Jesus knew this, which is why He ultimately symbolizes His presence with us and the event of salvation with shared bread and wine, and why we as Christians call it communion—in a shared meal, the immediate and the ultimate embrace.
Recently, Henry was our special guest. Henry recently graduated from a long-term shelter program but is now unsure about his future since things haven’t worked out the way he thought. In the shelter, Henry gave his life to Jesus Christ and has been feeding off the Word of God ever since. He quickly became a leader in the shelter community simply through his actions and leading by example. Henry became the embodiment of simplicity and godly sincerity. He diligently did his chores, attended Bible studies, established employment, and washed dishes in his spare time.
I asked Henry what he thought about our community and he said, “I know I need community right now but I never imagined this. I feel like I’m a part of a family here. I love it. This is beautiful and this is exactly what I need.” Henry was sitting with two other men in our community that graduated from the same rescue mission. In the lives of the two other men, Henry is now seeing his future more clearly. “I know these guys, and I trust them,” Henry said. “This is where I need to be.”
I am so pleased to share with you that Henry will be joining our housing community in a few weeks. So many men like Henry fall through the cracks when they don’t have a clear vision for their life after leaving a facility. Our housing community and Monday night dinners are radically changing the course of history for men like Henry. Henry will be receiving affordable housing, continued discipleship and mentoring, community support, leadership development, and most of all, a place to call home. We cannot do this work without your support. Please continue to make a difference in the lives of our residents through your generous donations.