What is Faith?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sister Act

Be our Guest. Be our Guest. Put our service to the test.

The services offered by Sister Libby of Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento, CA are in deed put to the test every single day. You'd never know it though. In fact, L&F seems to run so smoothly I expected to see the guests start dancing to choreographed musical number. As much as it seems that way, having formerly served in the armed forces, I know that Sister Libby, works incredibly hard and runs a tight ship.

What impressed me was not the fact that Sister Libby works hard. It wasn't the fact that she makes it look easy. It was the fact that Sister Libby takes the time to greet each guest as often as possible. She knows the majority of her hundreds of guests by name and she is genuinely concerned about each and every one of them.

Be our guest. Be our guest. Get your worries off your chest.

Yet...She took the time to not only meet with me, but she walked with us the 3 miles to one of the many homeless shelters in Sacramento, before heading off to her very full day of running from one portion of the L & F compound to the other.

Mustard Seed school: A free, private school for children 3-15 years where they find a positive nurturing environment, gentle hands and education.

Daily Bread Day Labor: A job and placement referral program which gives guests of L & F the opportunity to learn or participate in a new trade such as construction, landscape or moving.

Sister Nora's Place: A long term, overnight shelter serving chronically homeless and mentally ill women.

Mary House: A daytime shelter for women and children where life goals are assessed and plans put into place to become independent and self-sufficient.

Genesis: This program offers a "new beginning" in the life of those with various mental health issues, including counseling and mental health referrals.

Dining Room: Over 5,000,000 meals have been served possibly the only meal they will have all day, in the L & F Dining Room where 600-800 homeless guests are served each day by volunteers from churches, local businesses, and even former guests themselves.

Guest Health Outreach: Staffed by a Registered Nurse and volunteer doctors this health clinic is possibly the only time many of the L & F guests will receive medical attention all year.

Jail Visitation: Staff and volunteers visit inmates, provide bus passes, clothing vouchers, toiletry kits, backpacks and referrals as needed when released from jail.

Animal Emergency Services: Kennels are available for those guests with pets, so they can eat freely as well as job search, knowing their pets are in good hands.

Sister Libby loves them all, but there's a twinkle in her eye when she talks about Friendship Park. You must be homeless to be able to partake of the wonderful activities and benefits of Friendship Park. You can take a shower, get a hair cut, do a load or two of laundry or just sit and relax in the sun on one of the many park benches.
The needs that must be met to run an organization like this are overwhelming, yet somehow, just and the nemisis Matthew 14:13-21, Loaves and Fishes, God provides. With the overwhelming increase in homeless, more needs must be met daily. Click on Matthew to see a complete list of what items are needed.

I don't know if Sister Libby will ever retire. She loves her job too much, and as you can see, her hands are full, but even full, they are always open to greet the next guest.

No comments: