Friday, December 26, 2008
Wow, what a year. I now officially have a year of full time Associate Director under my belt! It is quite obvious that God has used this year in so many different ways. I honestly feel blessed to be part of such an amazing ministry serving the city and the groups that come to be a part of Center for Student Missions. This fall (after some major rest from the busy summer months) I have been able to do some personal volunteering. Every Tuesday morning I head over to the fellowship hall of Belmont Church to serve Breakfast and Lunch to around 150 of the homeless community. I use the term serve food loosely because God has given me the gift of gab, and I don’t know how much help I actually give the organization, but I do enjoy writing name tags and talking to all the guests!!
The organization is called Luke 14:12. It is one of the sites that we partner with and send groups to volunteer. It has been serving the community for over 20 years. Luke 14:12 provides a safe place away from the elements for people to come, sit, have some coffee and pastries and then a hot lunch. Groups come here to help in the kitchen with Kenny, the chef, as he likes to be called, who is also a member of the homeless community. The groups also play games with the guests.
Volunteering has been very rewarding for me because I have been able to establish relationships with the guests there. Like Jim, who kept to himself, but I ran into him at several of our ministry sites. Finally, after weeks of telling him “Good morning, Jim,” he finally began chatting. I found out that Jim is a very talented piano player and he loves the Eagles!
Now, when we have groups that come volunteer, I will feel comfortable sitting students in front of Jim and letting them know to talk about music. It is really great to know these people by name and for them to remember my name and sit and have conversations with them.
In this Christmas Season, I hope we can all remember the Beautiful Reason for the Season. The Love that we can show to each other can be the most amazing gift!
-Kristin Quarles, CSM Nashville City Director