Yesterday I went to Philadelphia in the late morning. I picked up Gregory Henderson and Anthony McNeil and we proceeded to St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Northern Liberties (a neighborhood in Philadelphia) to set up for the orientation and food safety course that was to start at noon. Jamey Bennett and Bob Lutzick joined us. I was sidewalk supervisor as they did the work setting up. My spine was killing me with extreme pain, so I didn’t do much lifting. A little past noon I started with a short history and philosophy of The King’s Jubilee. I stressed that we do not just serve people leftovers. We strive for nutritional and culinary excellence! And we try to give people options.
Bernard Finkel arrived to teach the food safety class at about 12:30 and discovered that he forgot the folder with the quiz and the permit applications in it. He will email the applications to everyone who was there, who needs them. He began the class shortly after 1 and finished shortly after 3pm. 16 of the 25 people who pre-registered attended, plus three who had not registered, who were just there for the information. We were able to help other ministries and get the word out that it is legal to serve the homeless and poor in the parks of Philadelphia. Two of the attendees whom we had not met before indicated that they hope to serve with The King’s Jubilee. That is very encouraging. Afterwards, I had a conversation with Fr. John and received his blessing.
From there, I dropped Gregory & Anthony back home and proceeded downtown to join The Word In Action International’s 28th Annual Gospelrama in progress at JFK Plaza aka The Love Park. I heard some exceptional Christian rap by some young men. Then I had what we sometimes call “an appointment from God.” It was too loud in the area in front of the stage, so I went next to and sort of behind the stage, by the ramp. There I meet Pete, Rosie’s brother. I have not seen Pete for several years. I have been thinking about him lately. He was surprised I still recognized him. I’ve known him for 25 years. He told me that he has been off the street for eight years now, living in Northeast Phila. We talked and caught up on life and times. He asked about April. His brother, Bill, is in the hospital with a heart attack and hepatitis. Pete is going to join us on Thursday night and bring some of his old clothes to give away. Pete lived on the street for 15 years. So it comes full circle. Before I left, Rev.Joses St. Phard gave me a word of encouragement and a blessing.
I left there at 6:30 to go to Dahlak Eritrean & Ethiopian Restaurant at 4708 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, to meet with Tim Horras, my good friend and leader of Philly Socialists. He texted me that he was going to be much later than planned. So I had dinner there. It was excellent! I had a long time to wait. The place lends itself to a feeling of community. The owners are Orthodox Christians. I was enjoying listening to various conversations. I felt free to speak with folks at the table next to mine. They had overheard my phone conversations, so we spoke about the ministry. They looked up this website on their smartphones before I paid my bill. Tim showed up at 8:30 with the band. We spoke about my future, trying to avoid foreclosure, finish writing books, keep the ministry going. We spoke about Ethiopia’s rich Christian history. We spoke about stepping up Philly Socialists’ plans for offering a viable alternative in Pennsylvania, since none of the major players are offering anything palatable or sustainable.
My back was hurting so badly from being on my feet or on poor chairs most of the day, so I took a Percocet with dinner. So I needed to stay until I was clear headed enough to drive home. I met and got to hear great music from two local bands: Big Tusk and Attic Stairs. I also met a number of energetic, young people, committed to making the world better. This gives one hope for the future. I drove home around midnight. I stopped by to fill the tank and pick up a little something in the Wawa. The man at the counter saw the TKJ logo on my hat and said with a sincere smile, “Thank you for your kindness.” I just felt so blessed. I couldn’t say anything in response. I just smiled weakly and left for home.