Serve One Another in Love
Yesterday, I started off intending to do “A Day in the Life of Hallee” kind of post — but about halfway through the day, I thought, why am I doing this on a Wednesday? I work at the soup kitchen. I don’t do a single load of laundry. I didn’t see the boys until 1PM. They ate dinner at the kitchen table while I packed Kaylee dinner to take to church, because she’s working on a big school project with some friends and I had to pick them up on the way to church.
So, at the end of the day I was obnoxious all day long with the camera but will start all over again on a “normal” day instead of a crazy day.
But then I realized what I did have – an inside look at the soup kitchen. I thought, what a gem.
Here is our dining room. At 10:45AM, it will be full of people waiting for me to start serving at 11:00AM. At the time this picture was taken, it was 7:00AM, and I’m alone. I do all the cooking alone on my days there – so the volunteers don’t come in so early.
This is the kitchen. The first day I walked through the double doors, I felt like I had immediately come home. A longing in my heart to be out in the mission field was quieted.
This is me in all my hairnet glory.
My apron says, “Serve one another in love,” Galatians 5:13. Hence, the title of this post.
The first thing I do is make the meals that go out to the shut-ins and invalids. About 100 meals go out of the kitchen at 9AM every day. We call them “meals on wheels,” but there is no affiliation with any organization.
There is a farmer who donates the ground beef to the kitchen. We get so much that sometimes it’s hard to come up with something different to cook. What I’m making this morning is what we call “Hamburger Helper.” Ground beef, macaroni noddles, and canned nacho cheese sauce. I add fresh (frozen) onions and green peppers, and season it up some. Doing so allows me to use about half of the “cheese” that the other cook uses.
Obviously, I’ve had to completely set aside my cooking and food philosophy to be able to cook there with joy. I am thankful for the food they have, for the donations they receive, and use every bit that I can, continually praying that more fresh food comes in and better ingredients arrive. My prayers have been answered – especially in the summer months when produce is plenty and people donate out of their gardens.
This is Rose. She runs the kitchen. She is completely volunteer, and is there 5 days a week. She’s SUPPOSED to take off the days that I’m there, but you can see how effective that is.
This is half of the meals.
This morning, the meals were cooked, boxed and ready to go by 8:30AM. Then we clean it up and start all over again.
Our local Kroger donates all of the bread and desserts. We’re serving leftover Easter cakes today. There’s a table outside of the kitchen where the surplus bread, cakes, and pies are put. People are allowed to take three items every day for their families.
Here we are, ready to serve. At the moment, all of the help is volunteer – from the church that houses the soup kitchen, from my church, and from the community. Usually, we have several workers from a local assistance agency who work in a halfway-type community service program to help people get job skills, but for the month of April, they were all in a resume building, learning how to interview class.
We served just under 100 people in the next 90 minutes. At the end of the day, this is what is left of 25 pounds of ground beef, 20 pounds of pasta, and 10 gallons of green beans.
Please pray for this ministry today.
I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
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