Pass It On

Over the last three weeks we have had new families join in making and serving food with us. They are friends of friends; and some friends of friends of friends.

The week before last, I was about ten minutes late arriving at the park where we serve, because of a couple of detours on the way. There was a group already serving sandwiches and goodies on the benches where we serve. We unloaded and were about to set up. I asked them what group they were with. They said “The King’s Jubilee.” “OK. We’ll serve with you then,” I said. The McGraws were not able to come that night, so these folks filled in for them. Of course, they didn’t know the McGraws or me. One of their girls had come down with her Girl Scout or Brownie troop last year with the Carpenters. She had so much fun, she recruited her whole family to get involved and come down last Thursday. Perfect timing. I couldn’t have planned it better.

Last night, a woman named Beth and her niece and granddaughters joined us with pasta and sauce and sandwiches. They arrived about 25 minutes after we started serving, so I wasn’t sure we would be able to give away all that they had brought. More hungry people showed up and they served all that they had. We had met them two weeks before. They heard about us from someone connected with Girl Scouts.

I didn’t mention another group from St. Stephen’s Orthodox Cathedral that came out with Katie and Mike. They brought bananas and I don’t know what else. Once again, I couldn’t have planned it better myself. We would have run out of food long before everyone was fed. But God had his ram in the bush.

I’m not very good at planning. I don’t knock those who are, but there is just no way to know how many people will show up wanting a meal on any given Thursday night. I just enjoy watching God move and work to meet needs in such joyous ways. Did I mention we had a great time and hung out talking a good bit after the food was gone?

The King’s Jubilee is throwing a party each Thursday night at 8 behind the Galusha Pennypacker statue on Logan Circle. Get your assignments, on what to bring, from God. (It may be just your smiling face.) Pass it on!

TKJ Real Break

UD OCF Real Break crew

The week of March 30, three student members of the University of Delaware OCF took their Spring Break to come to Souderton and Phila- delphia to help us work on the barn and serve on the streets. They were joined for most of the week by their advisor, Basil Peck, and on Thursday by his two teenage daughters.

We finished insulating the upstairs of the barn and installing the interior wall sheathing. We finished the demolition on three of the walls downstairs and fully insulated the largest of them. Electrical wiring was started. The woodstove was half built.

On Thursday, the girls picked up litter around the train tracks in the center of Souderton (across the street from us). They also made the soup and some sandwiches for the street. We all served on the street together.

On Friday, two of the team washed windows and did some other chores for a lady in the local community.

The kids all said they had a great time and that it was the best Spring Break they had ever had. I know it was a real boost to The King’s Jubilee. Thanks gang!

Trying Something New

Over the years, we have relied mainly on the direct approach for fund raising; that is: asking for money. In the early years, we sold candy bars. Then there were the T shirts. They were fun, but a real money loser.

Now we are selling daylilies. Yes. It is a fundraiser. No. We can’t lose money on it. We only have to buy the ones we sell. The main point of it isn’t to raise money, however. If it were, we would set the price higher. We are selling plants that would normally go for $15 to $25 for $12. The point is to raise awareness and prayer support.

Plant a daylily in a sunny spot in your yard. It will require very little care. It will bloom day after day, with each bloom lasting only a day, to be replaced with a new, glorious bloom the next day. This is to remind us of God’s care and provision for us. This is to give us confidence to share what we have today with those in need, knowing that God will provide new blessings tomorrow.

“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Mt. 6:28-34

We are able to sell these daylilies for so little, because they are “homeless” (requires a long, not very interesting explanation). So give a home to a daylily and pray for The King’s Jubilee. The sale will go on until June 8. Daylilies will arrive June 15.

Thanks to St. Philip Neri R.C.C.

Thursday evening of Great Week, I am in church and all of our faithful, Orthodox volunteers are in church, for the Twelve Gospels service. Other years, we have had no one to serve in our place. This year Pat & Eileen Cahill and Michael Heveran served. Since the Roman Catholic Church calendar is different this year, they did not have to skip an important church service to serve. Kids made power packs. They made sandwiches. I made soup. They went down and served.

I made sure that Pat was trained to perform his duties of riding shotgun. Thanks!

“Cast Your Bread Upon the Water …”

A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a man I hadn’t seen for almost twenty years. He left a message. It was someone I had met when I was serving as a volunteer chaplain in State Correctional Institution Graterford. The last time I had seen him was when he and his wife stopped by our house on their way through town.

I returned the call. His wife answered. She apologized that he was not there, because he was in prison. For a moment my heart sank. She continued, “He is in there at least three times a week. I’m not complaining. It’s a good thing! He can call you back after he gets home about 3:30.”

Allen called me and we talked for about an hour. He told me he just wanted to call to say thank you for my service to him and the other guys at Graterford more than twenty years ago; and to let me know that it had borne fruit with him.

After he got out, he married. They lived in Maine. He got involved in prison ministry there and has been volunteering in prison ever since. He also started a food bank in Maine that he entrusted to another ex-offender when he and his wife moved to northern South Carolina, after he suffered disability from a motorcycle accident.

Allen told me that one Bible lesson that I had taught had a particularly profound impact in his life. I was teaching on 1 Timothy 2:1 about how we are to pray for all men everywhere. I told the men that there were no pre-conditions put on this admonition. We should pray for anyone who comes to mind or whom the Lord lays on our heart, whether they are alive or dead; even if we don’t know whether they are alive or dead. Our God is not bound by time or death, and he has asked us to join with Him in the mystery of prayer.

Allen took that to heart and began to pray for his dad, whom he had never seen. He prayed that someone would share the Gospel with him and lead him to faith in Jesus Christ. Some five or six years later, Allen is in Atlanta, GA, for a prison ministry conference. On a whim, he picks up the phone book and looks up his own name, and finds it! Now Allen is a junior. He prays. Then he calls the number. A man answers. He asks him, “Did you and your wife have a son on Feb. 23, 1948 and name him after you?” His dad said Yes. They both were thrilled!

Allen went to his dad’s place and got to know him. They were amazed at how similar their life’s choices had been; up to a point. Allen shared with his dad his story of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

After a time, his dad turned to the Lord and was baptized. Allen’s dad passed away several years ago. Allen was at his bedside reading John 14 when he reposed.

He also mentioned to me how our daughter Hilary, who was only 4 or 5 at the time, used to write him and send him pictures she had drawn, telling him that she was praying for him. Allen just called to encourage me and to thank Hilary for her prayers. I’m sharing this with you to encourage you.

Another thing that Allen told me is that there is no better life than one spent doing the works of the Lord! We agreed about how frustrated we get when people make a big deal over what we do, because they just don’t understand how much fun we are having. There is no more interesting life than one spent serving the Lord. Jesus Christ doesn’t lie and He said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Summer is Our Busiest Time

Summer is the time of greatest need for those on the street; and this summer is probably going to be worse than any summer before. We have already noticed an increase in numbers.

The end of Philadelphia’s fiscal year is August 31. The city funded shelters start cutting out their meal services as funds dry up. Some close altogether. So, as the summer wears on, the number of people looking for meals goes up. This year it is even worse, because of the increase in food prices. We are seeing more food stamp recipients joining us earlier in the month, because their food stamps are running out sooner.

This comes at a time when our expenses, both for gas and food have gone up and donations are low. Please prayerfully consider what you can do to help.