Jane and I delivered supper to the local women's shelter yesterday. It is a ministry that our Sunday School class has done for the last 4-5 years. Once a month we provide supper for anywhere between 20-60 women and children. We used to have them out to the pavilion once a year too. But last night was it. We took 11 large Pizza Hut pizza's and 8 2-liter's of pop. There was a young-ish adult girl who was pretty darn excited to see Pizza Hut pizza. She kept going on how she hadn't had pizza for 5 months, and she was really glad it was even GOOD pizza. That made it a little sad, but we at least appreciated that she was excited.
The reason we stopped doing this is because once the organization moved locations - they moved from a big old house downtown into a brand new "facility" - it has lost a lot of the feel of a ministry, and there isn't any relationship between us anymore. We used to actually go there and prepare and then serve the food for the women and their kids. Now we just drop it off, as they have their own cook and everything. We can't even go in the kitchen. So there is zero interaction with the residents. Plus we don't ever get thanked or acknowledged in any way. So in some respects it's almost like they don't really care if we bring food or not. I don't know if that's true, but without hearing anything to the contrary, that's kind of how it seems. And then there's the fact that it doesn't require 'us' to do anything. I mean, we could just have Pizza Hut deliver the food for no more than we do. We've also asked at different times if there were other ways we could help out, and we never get any response.
So... we notified them awhile back that we would be ending the arrangement at the end of the year. They appreciated us notifying them. I'm sure a lot of people just stop. Which is just rude. So we ended on okay terms. I just wonder how organized the place is. They seem to really lack from a community relations standpoint. But... maybe what we were doing wasn't all that much. And it's not really why we were doing it anyway. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying that's how things were.
Our group is now checking into some other ministry options. We are going to begin by helping hand out food on a Saturday at the food bank. We reserved a spot for 10-12 of us for a Saturday in February. The nice thing about this is that it will require our group to be involved WITH one another. That's something we were lacking with the other thing. I think we need that interaction together. Plus I think it will be nice for us to actually 'do' something. I know ministry isn't all about 'doing,' but it sometimes doesn't involve near enough of it. So we'll see how this goes.
It was sad to end this phase of ministry with the women's shelter, but I think we would be better to put some things to rest while things are still going well than to hold on and drag things out to a point where it begins to have a negative effect on one side or the other. I'm glad to see us branching into another area.