Dear ECC Friends,

Twice a month, Church of the Cross serves in the Mobile Loaves and Fishes ministry. On the first and third Tuesdays of the month, we gather at the Spur Building of Lake Hills Church at 6:00 PM; get in a truck loaded with sandwiches, fruit, chips, drinks, treats, and clothes (especially socks); and then we go to a place in the Austin area where some of our most vulnerable friends make their homes.

Sometimes we go under the bridges, sometimes we go to tent communities, sometimes we go to apartment complexes. And there, we distribute food and clothing, talk with and listen to our friends, and share the love of Christ through acts of mercy and presence. We’re generally back about 8:15 PM.

As you think about serving with those experiencing homelessness in this ministry, you might be wondering:

Will I be safe? Yes. This does not mean one may not be uncomfortable from time-to-time. But yes, we are safe.

Do I have to evangelize? Opportunities may arise when a friend starts talking about faith or may ask for prayer. But we do not seek to convert any of our neighbors because the good news of this ministry is our witness of action; of service, compassion, and presence to people regardless of who they are or what they believe.

Can I bring my kids? Children are welcome to participate with their parents. We’ve had children as young as five make the Mobile Loaves and Fishes journey.

As it almost always is with ministry such as this, those who participate are affected more than those who receive from this work.

For myself, I believe it essential to my own walk with Christ that from time-to-time, I spend at least a moment with those whose lives are more challenging than my own. Jesus says “the poor you will always have with you,” and I think he says that as a word of instruction to his followers; that we are, if not always then at least sometimes, to be among the poor; for when I have been with those in need, I have been with Jesus, himself (Matthew 25:31-46).

A Mobile Loaves and Fishes journey is one way my heart is moved towards servanthood, making it more likely I will live as servant elsewhere in my life; and I receive joy in knowing that in bringing food and clothing or provide new socks to those who have little, I have done the literal thing Jesus commands me to do in clothing and feeding my neighbor in need.

Come along, friends. It’s a great trip.