NSW: Feeding the Homeless

Street Buffet – 29 January 2017

Schofield Church has been blessed with the opportunity to be involved in a hands-on, practical, community evangelism through assisting at Street Buffet in Woolloomooloo.  Once again, twelve eager volunteers gathered at the church around 12pm on Sunday 29th Jan to prepare the meal. A delicious menu consisting of baked veggies, curry with rice and a date slice had been planned; and with enough ingredients to feed 150 people, our twelve volunteers fell to peeling, stirring, cutting and mixing until a delicious aroma permeated the entire kitchen.  About three or four hot hours later (the heat combined from the cooking, the weather and energy) a big pot of steaming curry with a big pot of rice and rows of baked goods lay neatly waiting on the tables for it all to be loaded into the van.

A twist in the event was that we were asked to arrive about an hour and a half earlier than planned, but with God’s help we finished with time to spare. This was just as well, for when we arrived to the square behind Woolloomooloo Police Station, a lengthy line of people had already assembled to await food service. Street Buffet is a not-for-profit organisation with the vision to bring food to those who are in need in the same way that we bring food to our friends in their homes. It is this family-oriented spirit that provides a great atmosphere, not to mention great service for the homeless community in Woolloomooloo.

While we set up with our meal on the tables, other volunteers brought desserts, salads, drinks and pizza; and once the tables were laden with food, service began. In about one hour, everyone had been served, during which time people continued to return for seconds, including the delicious curry which two of our volunteers had prepared. Nothing ever goes to waste, and any leftovers were quickly packed into takeaway containers for those who wanted them, and the rest was packed and taken to the various hostels and shelters that are in the area.

The environment at any soup kitchen is quite unique, but the experience is unforgettable! The satisfaction and happiness that you receive from sharing food with another hungry soul is immeasurable and one of the reasons that our volunteers keep coming back. Not only do you feed their bodies but when you hear many of their experiences, you begin to understand how much of a difference a helping hand can be in someone’s life. I spoke with one young person who was severely abused by their father and as a result, they tried to end their life many times. Through the intervention of social workers and the family at Street Buffet, they were able to come out of that abusive environment and begin the road to a better future. This reminds me of a quote we learned in EMC, “There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God.” There is no limit to the good we can do if we allow God to work through us! This is exciting, as it makes you wonder what other things can be done for the Lord that perhaps have not been thought of yet?

Please continue to pray for our efforts, and if you would like to donate in any way to this cause, either by food, clothes or monetary donations, we will be using 100% of these donations to give to those who are struggling.

~ Daniela Balarezo