[I] first met Scott Denton soon after I started working in Men’s Ministry at Yorba Linda Friends Church.  thespyexpert.com He was a faithful volunteer who would help me set up our men’s breakfast each Friday morning.  He would tell me about his trips to LA’s Skid Row to feed the homeless, and challenged me to come with him sometime Saturday.  I thought of plenty of excuses why I shouldn’t go and why it would be better for me to sleep in on a Saturday.

One week I had run out of excuses and found myself outside of Scott’s house at 6am on a Saturday.  The trip to Northridge was filled with Scott explaining to me what to expect in LA, and how he himself became involved with the Frontline Foundation.  When we got to Skid Row, everything went so fast but I knew what we were doing was good.  I felt compassion immediately for these people we served.  They were all so grateful for the warm pasta, a cup of water and a handful of candy.  All the while I kept thinking how incredibly thin the line was that separated their situation from mine.

The real joy in that experience though came after the food had all been served and we walked around to meet the people who “lived” on the street.  I thought I would be the one to lift their spirits but quite the opposite happened.  Although they had very little, some with literally only the clothes on their back, were very friendly, hospitable, and willing to share their joy with us. It was a day and a blessing I will not forget.

I was only able to go back to Skid Row one more time before Scott began thinking about sharing the joy of compassion and relationship (and some food) with the homeless in our neighborhood.  While ministering to the homeless men and women who casinos online live in the Santa Ana River bed, Scott found out that there was an opening to serve a hot meal at Mary’s Kitchen, a local facility that also provides showers and washing machines.  I jumped at the change to be a part of this opportunity, not really sure what I could bring to the table. (No pun intended)

Right away I fell in love with these people.  They became my friends and I hopefully became theirs.  I loved hearing their stories and they loved being visible. I was always amazed the insight that my new friends had on life and how something as simple as remembering their name, giving them a few minutes could bring them such happiness.  We always said that we served more than food at Mary’s Kitchen, we served compassion.

From the very beginning we were thinking of ways to expand what we were doing at Mary’s.  As the core team grew, so did the ministry.  We started taking sack lunches to homeless men and women who lived in Santa Ana that couldn’t travel to Mary’s Kitchen.  We started an annual Jacket drive and got the community involved.  We were sharing food, warmth, compassion, and the love of Jesus Christ where we were able.

I was thrilled when asked to be a part of Joy. After so many years of selfishly enjoying the blessings of service, I am very happy to be able to share the joy with others by getting them involved.  It is truly so easy to lend a hand.  Any effort is outweighed by the blessing and the greater reward given to us by our Heavenly Father.