During the summer of 2010, my friend and missional community co-leader Eric Scofield sensed God putting it upon his heart to make coffee and to bring donuts to reach out and to love on the homeless. Around the same time, God had been speaking to me separately and placing scriptures from James and Isaiah 58 upon my heart to reach out to the homeless, the hungry, the poor and the unloved. Not too long after I felt God placing that upon my heart, Eric had shared with me about what he was going to start up and if I was interested in joining. I said, “I’m in. I’ll be there.”
Now nearly 16 months have gone by since we first started this ministry and we’ve been able to develop relationships within the Fullerton community. Recently we’ve been having 20-25 people come out. Some of them are homeless, some of them are poor, some of them are just looking to belong and to be accepted. People often ask me, “So what do you guys do out there?” Most Monday mornings consist of us providing coffee and donuts and simply sitting and talking with them. Many of the homeless have often been treated so poorly and people don’t give them the time of day. We get the opportunity to bring a value of worth and just a sense of humanity back to them as we sit, as we hug, and as we treat them as we would want to be treated. We get to hear their stories. We get to build relationships. We get to be their families for many who have been disowned and unwanted by their own. We get the chance to hear their physical needs (such as sleeping bags, back packs, clothes, food, etc) and try to meet it the best we can. We have people that support and donate to our ministry and we’re able to use that money to meet some of their needs. We get to see some of them find jobs and get off the streets. At times we get the chance to pray for them. When God gives us the opportunity, we get to share about our faith, church and what we believe in a natural way because that relationship has been already been built. More than anything, we just longed and long to show the love that God had first shown us and for them to know there is a God that absolutely loves and cares for them.
Eric makes the coffee every morning and I’m in charge of the donuts. I’ve been getting the donuts from the same donut shop now for quite some time now. There’s a shop in Fullerton called Donut Star where I’ve been able to build a relationship with the owners there. They’re a young married couple, very friendly. Every time I come in they greet me by name and with a smile. I’ve been going there consistently so you tend to notice the different customers and who the regulars are. One day I was getting my usual box of 18 donuts and an older man maybe in his mid-late 60’s (one of the regulars that I had noticed) asked me in a curious voice, “Are all those donuts for you? I’ve been seeing you come in every Monday morning” I chuckled and said “No” and shared briefly about our Monday morning ministry and who the donuts were for. I thought it was a nice and unexpected conversation but didn’t think too much of it or what would come from it.
I’d see that same man every Monday and we’d greet each other with a smile and a “good morning”. One particular Monday morning I told the owners the 18 donuts that I wanted, and as soon as I got to the counter to pay, the owner smiled at me and said “It’s been paid for Yeaj.” I said, “What?? What do you mean?” He told me that someone already paid him for this week’s batch, last week after I left. I said, “Who was it?” He smiled and said, “I can’t say but I will tell you this. He’s in this room right now.” As soon as he said that I knew exactly who it was and walked up to the man and thanked him. It was such an unexpected surprise. It was a tangible reminder to me that God is in this…That He’s with us…That He’s for us…That He loves the people who show up on Monday mornings …and to continue doing what we’re doing and to not lose heart because there had been many, many a times when Eric and I had wanted to stop showing up because it got hard.
For some reason I didn’t see Jerry the following week and was curious what had happened to him. He was always there at the donut shop. The following week I went to get the donuts again. As soon as I walked in the owners both greeted me with a big smile. I told them which donuts I wanted and the wife said in her broken English, “God seems to bless you and what you do” and I was a bit confused and said “huh? What do you mean?” I gave them money to pay, they smiled, and wouldn’t take the cash. I said, “No!… Did he pay for it again?!” They both said “yes”. I turned around and found Jerry sitting with his two friends and said “Thank you so much. I’m so touched. I have no words…” He said, “well you can thank these guys next to me too, because they pitched in.” Apparently he got his buddies in on it too this time. All three of them were smiling and Jerry said, “We believe in what you guys do.” I left that donut shop amazed by the generosity of complete strangers and how God shows up in the most unlikely places like a donut shop.
For greater things have yet to come. And greater things are still to be done in this City. Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done here…
If you would like to get involved, support, or simply pray. Contact Yeaj at firstname.lastname@example.org.