Last Wednesday we had a large group come out and help distribute supplies. It is so humbling to see my friends come together, at my home, to go into the community and serve our ever powerful, loving, and knowing God. This week more people showed up to help than I have seen since we started. This, in itself is a powerful statement by God’s people.
When people show up with their bikes to help I cover what we have discovered to be the politest approach. I suggest rolling up to whomever appears to be in need, greet them, and then ask if they have eaten dinner tonight. This approach is better than asking, “Are you hungry?” or, “Do you want some food?” We do not want to imply that they appear to be homeless or we are speaking to them in a condescending custom. Though, what we have found is a number of the people we speak to are not in need, nor are they poor. Many of the people tell us they are fine. However, every time someone says they are doing good and they decline a burrito, they always say, “Thank you for what you’re doing.” That is other than the occasional medical student that appears to be homeless. They will sometimes accept the offering not because they are greedy but because they are hungry. Nevertheless, we don’t simply seek out people who are affected with homelessness; we are serving any and everybody. Perhaps, someone is walking home from work and needs dinner and/or a jacket. Perhaps some teenage kids are on the streets and their parents did not make dinner. It may be difficult for them to accept a meal from a stranger but that’s, all together, a different issue. Perhaps someone just needs a friend, a conversation, or a prayer.
I have said this before, but this organization is not simply a street ministry, it is a fellowship ministry. It is an opportunity for people of the city to come together heedless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, shape, size, or color, and connect on a personal level. This is the message we want to UBFM to project. The greatest component is we get to do all this on a bicycle.