Friday March 15th found the members of All Saints’ Outreach Committee deeply concerned about the weather for Saturday’s Compassion Day. Lots of prayers were said as we decided to have trust and faith in our Lord. On Saturday, the weather was perfect. Our prayers were answered!
The day began early at 7:30AM. Our parking crew, led by Terry Karr and assisted by Stuart Dow and Jack Runyon, were at N. Lake Wire to direct the painting crews in getting parked so they could start painting at 8:00 AM.
Our other worker bees began arriving at 8:00 AM in a steady stream. One large group of 20 strong young men arrived from the Southeastern University wrestling team. It was fantastic to have strong backs to assist us in this endeavor.
Our own Pat DeWitt was ready to render first aid in the case of emergency. Thankfully she only had two patients, but knowing she was there was a great comfort to all. Dr. Byron Hodge drove the medical cart throughout the neighborhood checking on the work crews and making sure they stayed hydrated.
An amazing total of 168 people from All Saints’ came out to help, including lots of children. Emily Coxoversaw the Bounce house which was a big hit with the neighborhood children as well as our All Saints’ children.
Sign in went rapidly as we had many sheets, and the wrist bands to identify those people eligible for the free lunch provided by the Salvation Army. We thank all the men and women who helped oversee this sign in process, especially Martha Linder who made sure our painters were not left out.
At 9 AM sharp, our opening ceremonies took place. Prayers were said, Mike Cooper from the Dream Center gave a short talk as did several local dignitaries. Fr. Reid gave the closing prayers. We also had a chance to meet the local police who were there assisting with the neighborhood cleanup and providing much appreciated security. Chief Garcia, our new police chief, stayed with us the entire day.
Following the opening ceremonies, Jeff Cox, Jr. smoothly orchestrated the breaking down into teams.
Troy Lung managed a large group to handle food distribution. Thanks to the Dream Center for supplying the food to be separated into bags and flowers for distribution to the neighborhood. His crew used large wagons to deliver food and flowers throughout N. Lake Wire.
Zack Hertel, Joe Nash, Rich Muschiano and Clinton Holmes led groups to clean up vacant lots; hard work but very worthwhile. Past experience has shown us, that the next time we are in N. Lake Wire, there may be a house being built on the very lot that we helped clean up. Michael Grant brought his tractor which greatly expanded the work we were able to do.
Our “Paint your heart out” crews led by Eric Ammon and Jeff Kline painted two homes which looked like new when completed! David Kleine brought a commercial grade sprayer that made a tough job so much easier.
Our own Michael Spake was featured on the local news channel, Bay News 9, serving food and flowers to local residents.
At 11:15 lunch was provided and served by the Salvation Army volunteers. They arrived early in the morning and prepared 400 meals for us. Our own George and Joan Mann were there to represent All Saints’ and assist with the meal preparation and distribution.
The popcorn machine was a big hit. Susan Waldron operated the machine all morning with help from the younger children.
Rev. Kathy and her prayer team were available to offer prayers to anyone who needed them. LVIM was there to take blood pressures. We don’t think they saw as many patients as they had hoped for, but they were excited to be there and look forward to September’s outreach.
It is impossible to mention all the wonderful adults and children who helped to make this as fantastic day, but we can all feel proud that we were doing God’s work on this morning in N. Lake Wire, and it was clearly appreciated by the residents.
One experience that stands out in my mind is when two women from the neighborhood came running up and wanted to be a part of our next event. They wanted to help too! We referred them to Pastor Smith of our partner church, New Beulah Missionary Baptist church. The warm reception we received and encounters like this one make us realize All Saints’ is making a difference in N. Lake Wire. Our Lord’s presence is with us. God bless everyone who came and those who support us with their prayers at home.
All Saints Outreach Committee