Last Saturday morning I went with Ed and Meredith to serve donuts and coffee to the homeless people living in a small park in downtown Fort Collins. When we first arrived at the park we saw several small groups of young people, a young man sleeping on the ground, a woman sitting off by herself and a group of older people at the far end of the park. No one stood up or even looked at us so we took the boxes of donuts and went around to each group or person and offered them donuts. They were very grateful and thanked us with smiles on their faces. We told them that we would soon have a table set up so they could help themselves to coffee.
The grass on the park was still wet from the previous day's rain and as I walked from one end of the park to the other my sneakers started to get wet and muddy. I thought to myself, "Ugh, I hate wet, muddy sneakers". That was my honest, first thought as I served the homeless donuts!!!! I was immediately so ashamed of myself as I thought of the young man I had just walked by. He was sleeping directly on the wet ground without a blanket or any barrier to protect him from the dampness. I gave no further thought to my wet, muddy sneakers and dove into serving donuts, coffee and getting to know the people who were at the park that morning.
We set up the table to serve the coffee and the people began to wander over to make themselves a cup. I loved this time hanging out around the table. It was a small, square card table that we had brought with us and covered with a table cloth but I noticed that after the people made their coffee they did not wander off. So many of them lingered as they sipped their coffee and we were able to spend some time getting to know them. We met a man name who had lived in the Fort Collins area all of his life. We met a young couple who had just arrived in Fort Collins from Nebraska. We met a man who had served with the marines in Afghanistan and a single woman who was living in her car with her 3 year old. As the morning passed around the small, square card table, I realized that this was our kitchen table!!!! Our kitchen table is one of my favorite places as it has always been a place where we gather together as a family and spend time together. I have always looked forward to spending time with families around the kitchen table at Soaring Wings Ministries. We may not yet have the space at Soaring Wings Ministries for homeless families but I was so excited to have a kitchen table experience around a small, square card table!!!!
We were not the only ones who shared food with people in the park on Saturday morning. One of the most touching experiences I had was when one of the young men approached us with a case of water and a box of donuts. Someone had dropped off the water and donuts for the homeless earlier that morning. This young man brought the water and donuts over to our table. He told me that he wanted to make sure that the water and donuts were shared with everyone as it was not intended just for his small group. What an honest and caring young man he was!!!!!!
These experiences on Saturday morning encourage all of us at Soaring Wings Ministries to keep going in our attempt to raise funds for our building fund. We want to be able to make a difference in the lives of homeless young adults and families. As the saying goes, "You can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone!". How true that saying is!!!! I have to honestly say that fund raising IS NOT my favorite thing to do AT ALL but I do it because it is the only way that we can move Soaring Wings Ministries forward and helping people in need IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!
Won't you help us move our kitchen table out of the park and to the Soaring Wings Property at 499 Trinity Lane? Your donations to Soaring Wings Ministries will help the single Mom living in her car with her three year old. Your donations will help the homeless young man so he won't have to sleep on ground. Your donations will help the homeless vet who served in Afghanistan. Your donations will go to help REAL PEOPLE with REAL NEEDS. We need your help to move our building fund forward. I can't wait until I can write about the experiences around our kitchen table here at Trinity Lane instead of a small, square card table in a park. Thank you so much for your help!!!! I will close this now as I need to get ready. Time for me to take off my slippers and put on my dry but still muddy sneakers!!!
Dear Friends and Family,
Many of you know that we recently returned from a trip to the East Coast. The purpose of the trip was to help our daughter Meredith and her family move out here to Colorado from Cape Cod. Praise God, the trip was a successful, safe and fun trip!! We are so excited to have Meredith and her family here at Soaring Wings Ministries!
While we were out East we had the most wonderful opportunity to visit with so many of you who have supported us with prayers, financial support, donations and encouragement! I can't tell you what a joy it was to spend time with so many of you and to personally thank you for all you have done for Soaring Wings Ministries!
Each visit was a delight and I was asked many questions about how we were doing personally, how our plans looked for the future and how Soaring Wings Ministries was moving forward. These were all really great questions but one afternoon I was asked the best question of all as I visited with one of our supporters in Bradford, New Hampshire. I have known this person for almost 19 years and she is a wise and prayerful woman in her 90's. We were sitting at her kitchen table which looked out over the thick, green woods in her yard and we munched on Dunkin Donut Holes and iced tea. The question she asked me was, "So what do you do each day in Colorado at Soaring Wings Ministries?" I had never been asked that question before and I nearly spilled my iced tea when I started to laugh. I laughed because I thought it was such a great question and was amazed at her wisdom to ask me such a great question and I also laughed because I didn't know where to begin. I immediately thought of our "to do" list that sat on our desk back in Colorado with 43 items bulleted on it and only 10 crossed off.
So, what do we do each day in Colorado at Soaring Wings Ministries? I can tell you that each day begins early and each night at the dinner table I often here the words "I am pooped". I know "pooped" isn't the most appropriate word to use, but then again, it is a totally appropriate word because we put out 100 percent of our time and energy each day into Soaring Wings Ministries and each night we are "pooped" but it is a good "pooped"!!!! Each morning begins with a good breakfast either at our dining room table or if it is a nice morning we will eat breakfast out on the porch. After we eat we read a short devotion together and spend time praying thanking God for His blessings and asking Him to guide us, bless us and to give us strength for the day's tasks and help us to glorify Him in all that we do. After breakfast there are dogs to take care off, kitchen to clean up, garbage that needs to be taken out, laundry and all those everyday tasks that everyone has to do. Some days we will dive into desk work which includes keeping track of our donations and expenses, making phone calls to local agencies, working on fundraising, developing our next newsletter, updating our email list....the desk work is too lengthy to list but you get the idea. Other days we might skip the desk work (these are my favorite days!) and spend time putting together some blessing bags to give out to the homeless. Other days are spent on repairs and maintenance of the grounds, house and storage sheds. We are still unpacking boxes from our move here in August and so somedays you will find us going through boxes and getting things sorted out. Some days we don't spend anytime at all at 499 Trinity Lane where Soaring Wings Ministries is located. On those days we might be volunteering at a soup kitchen in Fort Collins or getting to know some homeless families that are spending the week at our church here in Colorado. On Sundays you will not find us doing any work. We do our best to remember the Sabbath and keep in holy, as God has instructed us to do, by going to church, worshipping God and relaxing.
Each day is different here at Soaring Wings Ministries and I can tell you that starting a homeless ministry from the ground up takes time and effort but we are so excited to be moving forward and we can see the progress that is taking place over the months that we have been here. Ed and I hope that each and everyone of you will have the opportunity to visit us here in Colorado and see for yourselves what we do each day here in Colorado at Soaring Wings Ministries.
In closing I would like to share with you some lyrics from one of my favorite songs. It is written by Matt Redmen and is called "10,000 reasons" or Bless the Lord. I often think of these lyrics as I start my day at Soaring Wings Ministries and as I sit at our dinner table at the end of the day and say to Ed "I'm pooped".
"The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning. It's time to sing your song again.
Whatever may pass, whatever lies before me. Let me be singing when the
Each day is different at Soaring Wings Ministries and I would say that most days at Soaring Wings Ministries are very good days. They are very good days because we strife to please God in all that we do and all that we do is for His honor and glory. May each one of you find joy in your day's work and may you know how much we love and appreciate all of you!
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries