“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you..
Hello neighbor, because that’s what you are, you know. You are my newsletter neighbor. I’m happy to have you with me today.
Today we are going to visit St. Johns. Even though the first word only has two letters we say it like this: “saynt”. That’s kind of funny, huh? Do you know where St. John’s is? If you were in downtown Portland, it would be way off to the North and the West, right where the two rivers meet. Let’s meet some friends we have in St. Johns.
First we are going to meet our friend Tim.
Hi Tim! Who is this?
“This is me with my wife, Samantha, and our daughter Paloma.”
I was wondering if you could tell us how Anawim got started in St. Johns?
“Sure! God gave me a vision of starting a soup kitchen in St. Johns. So we talked with our friends Robert and Lacy, who know a lot of homeless people around here, and we talked with Steve who has a lot of food and clothes that we could hand out. Then Sam, Paloma and I searched around until we found just the right place to meet—right on the trail.”
“Yep. We met there on the trail every Sunday for many months. We handed out sandwiches and clothes. Sometimes it got very wet and cold.”
Did it rain?
“Oh yeah. Sometimes we would put up tarps to keep the rain off of us. It didn’t work very well. But we could eat and talk with our homeless friends.”
You have homeless friends?
“Of course! We love our homeless friends. It is so great to have them as our friends. We love each other and help each other. It’s great to have friends on the street like Fred, Toby and Gary. And it’s great to have friends who help us help our homeless friends.”
Are these some of your friends who help?
“Yes. This is our friend, Mona. She’s a very good helper. She brings many things that our homeless friends need like socks, blankets, hand warmers and clothes.”
It sounds like she’s a great helper. And who is this with her?
“That’s our friend, Genevieve. She cooks food and brings it to our friends. She’s a great helper too.”
“This is our worship time. Once a week we pray and sing to God and listen to God’s word.”
That sounds like it’s very important.
“Oh, it is. We need to thank God for all that He’s given us, even if we have very little.”
And who is this?
“These are our friends Nick and Rebecca Floyd and their children.”
They have a lot of children, don’t they?
“They sure do. They moved all the way from Texas just to help our homeless friends.”
Just to help your friends?
“Well, maybe because Nick got a new job, too. But they’ve been helping out every Saturday. They bring food and have good talks with our friends.”
Do the children help also?
“Of course they do! They love to help!”
So it’s been very cold, are you still meeting outside?
“Now we’ve been meeting inside. Two churches, St. Johns Covenant Church and St. Johns Christian Church have allowed us to meet in their buildings so we could get out of the cold. We are also able to cook coffee and have bathrooms for people.”
That’s right, most churches have bathrooms. That’s good if you need to go.
“That’s what I think”
Thank you so much Tim.
“It’s been great to talk to you today.”
Our homeless folks are very good friends but some people are afraid of them. We need to remember that they are very nice and that it is fun to talk to them in a church or with our mommies and daddies. You can get good tips about camping, if you like to camp.
It’s good to talk to our homeless friends and it give you a good feeling to give them something they need like a bowl of soup, a pair of socks or some hand warmers. It’s such a good feeling to know your alive, it’s such a happy feeling to know that we’re friends.
I’ll be back next time.
Communing with the dead are we?