Last Night on the Street

Today, as I am writing this, it is Dormition, so last night the McGraws did not come to serve, since Holy Ascension’s only service was last night. Normally they make spaghetti with meat sauce and bring sandwiches and peanuts.

Yesterday, I roasted a turkey, then made turkey rice soup with green beans, carrots and corn. Then I made a huge roaster pan full of tuna noodle casserole with a “secret” ingredient to add some zing.

Erica Myers had not been down with us for months. She called and wanted to come. What great timing! We were going to be shorthanded and I had no one to ride shotgun, because of the vespers service, so she was most welcome. We had a huge jar of peanut butter left over from Real Break. I asked if she wanted to come over early to help make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I bought four loaves of Holsum whole wheat and a jar of strawbery jam and jar of grape jelly and picked her up about 4pm. She and Hilary made sandwiches.

I set up the xB with supplies, cleaned out the coolers, found packing material to insulate the tuna noodle, made five gallons of iced tea and baked a loaf of bread.

The bread was to go with our dinner which was a wonderful, vegetable, bulgur wheat, crock pot concoction that had been slow cooking since Bethann made it before going to work in the morning.

Erica and I headed over to St. Philip’s at about 6:30. I was able to place the Easter lily blooms, that I had cut from beside our house, in front of the icon of the Theotokos, help sing for Joël Black’s churching, and get Father Boniface’ blessing. Several loaves of sandwiches were delivered right before we were to leave. We left for the city as the church bell chimed seven.

We arrived at 1801 Vine St. at 7:55. A few of the guys helped us unload and we set up on the benches to serve the food. I was serving the soup and the casserole. Erica was handing out sandwiches. Guys from the street were handling the iced tea and the goodies from Landis’ Supermarket bakery. (I had picked them up the day before from Joanne Wiszneski’s car in the Telford Landis’ parking lot.)

At some point Michael and Chris Jones showed up and took over serving the iced tea and goodies. Larry Bonczar showed up and helped maintain order.

We ran out of sandwiches, and just as I was telling one of the guys sorry, Jackie Griffin and her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend show up with sandwiches. We ran out again, but everyone who was there had gotten some. Then some stragglers show up as I was putting something into the car and I find the loaf of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that the guys had missed earlier, when they helped unload. I tell you, it was perfect!

We hung around and talked for a little while. Then we packed up and left. It had started to rain again, pretty hard this time. It was about ten minutes of nine. Erica and I stopped to see Sammy at the Sunoco on Kelly Drive, got half a tank of gas and some iced tea. I dropped Erica off at her place in Harleysville, then headed home. I got home about ten o’clock.

Almost every week it is a similar story. We never know how many people are going to show up, or how many sandwiches will be made, but it seems that it is always right.

Some of you may be salivating to know what the secret ingredient was in the tuna noodle casserole. It was mango lime vinaigrette. I know it was good, because I came home with some hot sauce.

It is amazing to see God provide what is appropriate each week, right on time. That is why it is more than a little embarrassing for me to be making this special appeal. I am confident that God is already making a way for us out of this financial bind. I also know that He calls us to be his co-workers. If you don’t know or understand the need, how can you respond?

Now you know some of what we do. Now you can participate with us in the service in Jesus’ Name.