Ministry That Mends - Angelic Ministries of Knoxville Tennessee

It started out a rainy, dreary Wednesday today. I awoke to a crick in my neck, and a steady drizzle outside my window, and got my day started as best I could under such trying circumstances. At about 9 o'clock, I picked up my cell phone for the first time. (I turn my cell phone off at night, and don't turn it on the next day until I am good and ready...if I remember to at all. Don't judge. It's how I roll.)

I saw I had a message waiting for me from my friend Lynne B, so I listened. She was proposing that we meet up in...uh...thirty minutes.

Actually, she left the message last night, but my phone was already off by then. Don't judge her's how she rolls. Do you sense a theme here? Let folks roll how they roll.

My rainy Wednesday was about to get a major infusion of Spiritual Sunshine. The planets must be lining up today, because all systems were actually "go" for me to run right out my front door and drive to Angelic Ministries of Knoxville, to help do some volunteer work. I couldn't believe it. I'm usually never that available on that short a notice...we're talkin' less than half an hour.

About twenty minutes and twelve seconds later, I was there. And I even had time to ingest a steaming hot cup of legal stimulant on the way. I know, right? You have one plan for your morning, and BOOM, you find yourself driving through a bad part of town, to a worse part of town, before you can even say "What The Heck?"

Well. If you're me.

So. I spent some time helping to mend broken people wasn't hard to do. Two or three hours of my time was all it took, going to the building that houses Angelic Ministries of Knoxville, shadowing and assisting my friend Lynne B, who volunteers there regularly.

As I drove up to the building - again I tell you - in a part of town that isn't exactly upscale, I passed a man who was...ah..."relieving himself", right there in a little nook area of the outer brick wall, his back turned towards the highway.

Somehow, I knew right away that if helping people who actually need it is good for the soul, I was about to get a really happy soul today.

I parked my car, hid my purse, locked up, and headed inside. I was introduced briefly, and within five minutes, I had my first "client". That is what Angelic calls the people they minister to. Actually, Lynne ended up with two clients, sisters who came together, and I pretended one client was hers, and one was mine.

I was there to look and learn and help wherever needed...and bring all of you with me, via pictures. (Please do pour yourself a tall cuppa something - there's more than one or two pictures here...)

Angelic takes people in crisis situations, people who have been referred to them by other reputable agencies or churches, not off the street, and volunteers take them with a shopping buggy through the huge warehouse of donated items, and help them pick out what they need to get re-established. And I do mean whatever they need.

If Angelic Ministries has it to give. Which brings me to the first sight I was confronted with...

The toiletry shelves. Empty. Do you even know how expensive toiletries are? Very little along those lines could be given out by Angelic Ministries today, because toiletry donations are down. It just wasn't there to give.

If the next picture does not hurt your heart, not much will move you, ever...

What about this one:

The weather turned cooler recently. So for fun last weekend,I went out and got my grandbaby a new pair of shoes to keep his sweet feet warm (and to make him weep violently, but that's another story...home boy don't like shoes.)

What about the sweet feet of the babies who come here? With many, if not most, of the families that are helped through Angelic Ministries, there are babies and children involved. The sisters we helped this morning had two or three at home. Babies. They also have school aged children.

Here is a sign from God, if anyone needs a sign:

...and when they say they need men's pants...

...they really mean it. There were no men's pants at all...only shorts. If you were a man, who came to Angelic Ministries today, and you needed a pair of pants for your new job, the job that will help get you back on your feet - you better be a size 40 waist, because if you were anything less, there was nothing there.

Speaking of being back on your feet...

Almost nothing for you in that department, either. Angelic Ministries needs donations, friends!

We took our two sisters to pick out some linens. Towels, anyone?

It's a good thing there are a (very) few, (very) thin towels on these shelves. The two women we worked with were able to get some for each family member.

I'll leave you with just a few more images...

Those toiletry shelves haunt me to this moment...

Nope. Nothing on this shelf either. Such a basic, human-female need.

The school supplies.

The image that most lingers most with me, though, is that of two clients I saw who weren't even "my" clients. I saw a young Hispanic couple there with their baby, scanning those toiletry shelves. I'm a good judge of character, and the faces I saw were open. This was the sweetest, cleanest looking little family you'd ever want to see. They simply were in serious need.

And they had a baby. What growing baby couldn't use a pair of shoes this autumn?

And the man might could have used an extra pair of decent pants.

And they were standing in front of those darn toiletry shelves.

You might think that in the light of the stark needs, and those empty shelves, that I left feeling depressed. Nah. Our two sisters went home with a literal truck load of blessing - a twin bed, a queen sized bed, all bed linens, dishes, pots and pans, food for the whole family, baby clothes, baby food, a baby car seat, and I think even a small desk.

Needs are being met, and there are more needs that need to be met. (Say that ten times fast!) And I serve a God who is the Need Meeter. I'm praying that He'll use this small blog post to do something Big...a loaves and fishes kind of thing. God can take my small contribution, bless and break it, and do Amazing Things.

If you can help, and you live here in Knoxville, I have a name and number to hook you up with. If you want to help, and you live far, far away (I have tons of blog readers who live in other countries!) please email me, and let's see what creative brilliance we can come up with.

If you own or know of a business that could donate toiletries, email me right now. Don't wait.

Those empty toiletry shelves bug me.
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