The Room in the Inn Program began this week and will last through March, and my church is hosting a group of nine or ten people who are homeless every Wednesday night. So tonight one church member picked up the group; two other people made sack lunches; another two set out ten mattresses and made them up with sheets and blankets; another shopped for breakfast foods and toiletries; and two more are staying with them tonight; and another will drive them back to the "campus" in the morning. And I had the pleasure of cooking for everyone, trying out my cooking skills and my teeny tiny kitchen, which resulted in it taking three times the normal amount of time to make two 13x9 pans of baked ziti. Fortunately the ziti turned out well, and we were all stuffed. It was amazing how fast four loaves of buttered garlic bread disappeared. The brownies and candy were gone quickly too, and the gratitude was overflowing and touching as was the excitement over the packets of tea, hot chocolate, and cider.
I had the opportunity to talk with the women at my table, and it was interesting to learn a little about them. One woman came in with some cute hot pink rolling luggage and was very well spoken and wants to attend law school, but after being in an abusive relationship, she seems to have fallen on hard times. Another woman often sleeps in a barn and lamented about the dangers of being a homeless woman. Another was hoping to catch Jamie Foxx on the CMAs. So in some ways it was unlike any other conversation I'd have over dinner, but then in some ways it was just like any other get-to-know you situation.
So I'm glad that I've met some new people, had an opportunity to serve others, that these women and hundreds of other homeless people have a warm and safe bed tonight, and that I'm curling up in a warm and cozy bed shortly too.
p.s. I'm thankful that I get to try a new coffeehouse in the morning....the Frothy Monkey.