Friday, September 28, 2007

What Counts

After work I stopped by Costco to pick up ice cream for the kids. Ice cream bars and sandwiches are a treat because their parents rarely buy them, and it’s a quick solution for me because I don’t have time to prepare a dish like the others do. I could give K. the money to buy the dessert, but it’s not the same as my bringing something and sharing a meal with our guests.

The Interfaith Hospitality Network has 18 participating churches in San Mateo County. IHN provides temporary housing and meals for families in difficult circumstances, most often single mothers with young children.

Hope Lutheran Church has bed, bath, and kitchen facilities, which enables it to house people four to five times a year, one week at a time. IHN hosting can put quite a strain on a congregation; volunteers have to be present 24 hours a day while families are living on premises. Our smaller Episcopal parish helps out by preparing dinner on the weeks when Hope helps.

For Tuesday’s meal there were four families, a total of 14 guests, plus six from our church and two from Hope Lutheran. The ladies brought plenty of lasagna, bread, and vegetable and fruit salads. One even baked a chocolate cake with cherries. Because I passed on the ice cream I could justify two helpings of the moist, rich dessert. Besides, it doesn’t count if it’s for charity. © 2007 Stephen Yuen

Some of the angels who keep me on the straight and narrow.

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