After a door was closed to their ministry, a youth group discovered a creative avenue for serving the homeless.
On Sabbath, Dec. 7, Cadillac area youth group “We Are Called” helped feed over 250 people and gave away over 100 Desire of Ages at Project Christmas in Cadillac, Michigan.
We Are Called (WAC), founded in 2017, has been doing this for over a year now. It all started when the Youth Sabbath School class saw the needs of the homeless community. So, in late 2017 through mid 2018, WAC gave away over 150 backpacks filled with necessities, complete with a Bible.
The majority of the backpacks were handed out in Grand Rapids and Traverse City, Michigan. Later, they started serving a dinner of spaghetti while they gave away the backpacks. This proved to be a success.
After several months, the youth group became aware of the needs of their own community. “We would drop off backpacks at the shelters at Christmas time along with other Christmas gifts. We were also helping people on the verge of homelessness,” says Brenda Nelson, co-sponsor of WAC. They started serving a hot meal at the local public library along with giving away warm clothes and toiletries. “We would serve approximately 65 people each month. It was something they looked forward to,” Nelson added.
After a period of time however, the library told WAC that they could not continue serving the meals at the library. They tried several options, including serving the meal at the park pavilion. However, attendance was lower, and they felt that they should do the meeting elsewhere. This was only one of the obstacles they encountered. The State of Michigan and the Health Department have many regulations that would block the ability of them being able to serve food elsewhere.
This is when they found a loophole; a blessing in disguise. The State and Health Department does not regulate the use of food trailers. Because of this, in mid 2019, WAC purchased a used food trailer in mint condition. This allowed them to go anywhere and serve a warm meal of spaghetti, rolls, hot chocolate and cookies to others, along with giving them some warm clothes.
“Recently, a lady who attends a local church stopped by to find out who we are and what we were doing. She was so impressed that these youth were outside freezing to serve others,” said Brenda Nelson. “She plans to help out at our next outreach, along with a local surgeon and his family who also want to get involved.”
If you want to find out more information, contact the Cadillac Seventh-day Adventist Church by calling 231-775-9545 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samuel Girvan is assistant Communication director of the Cadillac Church.