Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weird Smells, Selfish Thoughts and Beautiful Views

A warning against human trafficking in the homeless shelter. It's in Afrikaans.

Jose, the "Mad Portuguese." Notice the stove he's using. The kitchen is quite small and outdated but they happily serve two meals a day. Jose does not have a home but is currently looking for work.

Living Grace offers the homeless a locker to store their belongings for security so they can go to a job interview or rehab without it being stolen. Living Grace offers drug and alcohol counseling.

Clapping, stomping, dancing and singing. Not exactly what I expected at a homeless shelter. To be honest, when I saw Living Grace on our schedule, I wallowed in shallow selfishness. I toured Living Grace the day before. It had a smell. You know the smell. I didn't want to spend the day there.

But when we arrived in the morning, I was greeted by Joan, a gregarious and ornery Afrikaner who made us feel like were the guests of honor. Within minutes of meeting Kevin, she asked him to lead singing and devotions. So he did. That's when the joyous noise began. Mind you, they hadn't eaten yet! When I'm hungry, I don't feel like a raucous worship service. But they did; 50 men, women and children. I fought to hold back the tears as they sang loudly and boldly and truly worshiped. They took me off guard and put to shame my stereotypes.

In this video, they are pretty tame, but how can you not smile when they sing, "Give me petrol for Ford, keep me truckin' for the Lord?"  They want someone to teach them how to sing, but seriously, doesn't this sound good?!

The lunch crowd was  maxed out at 50. There were men, women and children. My primary job was to hand out two pieces of bread to each person. As the people came through they would reply, "Thank you my lady," or "Thank you my sister."

They were so grateful, and I had done absolutely nothing.Then I think about a Savior, who paid with life in exchange for mine. And I can sometimes manage a thank you...

 *This video may have trouble loading, it's on my facebook. South African high speed is not always so high speed. I'll try again when I return.

Kevin and Carol (a volunteer) chop lettuce for the next days lunch.

When I told Jose that he should have his own cooking show, he gave me his best Martha Stewart impression.

Kevin talking before lunch at Living Grace.

Beautiful view of "Surfer's Corner" in the Indian Ocean, looking through the security bars on the window. Notice also the ringed barbed wire on the fence. This is a standard security measure for those who can't afford electronic security monitoring. 

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