Our MOPS group is a dynamic, inviting environment where moms can come just as they are to build friendships, be encouraged, and gain practical parenting strategies. All while their children are lovingly cared for in the MOPPETS program.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Have you given out your HOMELESS CARE PACKAGE?

Hey girls... have you had an opportunity to give our your HCPs?  I haven't been able yet, but I am sort of excited to be able to.  I took mine home from our meeting and added some more items to make it really awesome!

If you have a story... let us hear it and we will post it on the blog!  Email us HERE!

  I am excited about how God is using you through your HCP!  We may not think that the HCP is a big blessing, but I guarantee you... it is !!!!!!  Here are a couple stories so far!!

Sunday, November 7th was the start of a new great tradition for our family. My husband's parents live in a retirement apartment complex off of Orange Ave. in Downtown Orlando. They have lived there for over four years and every time we come off the 408 onto Orange Ave, we see six or seven homeless people around the little pond at that intersection. We have taken my elderly father in law for walks around that pond and always see evidence of many people's homes. There are blankets balled up in the bushes, cardboard boxes covering a person's entire collection of goods, and shopping carts full of garbage bags filled with clothes and treasures.

On Saturday, I told my husband to tell me if he saw a homeless person. We were driving around Clermont, and to be honest, I can't recall ever seeing one of them just wandering the streets in this town. When my husband asked why, I told him to open the glove compartment where I had stashed the two homeless kits we made in MOPS. We didn't see anyone and I imagined he forgot about it so when we pulled onto Orange Ave. on Sunday, I was excited to hear him say, "I know we will see some here." Within 500 feet, my glove compartment was empty. The first person we saw was an older man carrying an old backpack. The man looked at my husband and said, "Wow, thanks, man!" Then we gave the other kit to a person resting on the bench. She seemed slightly confused but as my husband said, "God bless you," I saw her start to pull the granola bar out of the heart covered bag.

Since we are in that area at least once a month, we are going to make this a new habit for our family. It's such an easy quick way we can help someone and it's a great example to our kids. Instead of looking down upon the homeless people on Orange Ave, we were searching for them, spoke to them, and shared the love of God
with them through the homeless kits. 
 ~Vanessa Vazquez and family~

I was able to give one of mine today to a homeless person at the corner of Silver Star and Hiawassee. He said, "God Bless you". So hopefully he will get good use out of it and maybe go to church somewhere. :). I felt really good about it and I have one more package to give and can't wait to bless the next person. :)
~Nicole Russell

After a morning of mommy and me painting fun I sat in the parking lot debating whether or not to drive nearly 30 minutes to enjoy pizza with these moms and their children. While pondering my decision I saw what appeared to be a homeless man sitting under a tree in the parking lot of this local Clermont shopping center. Then I saw the little “care package” we made at MOPS recently sitting on the seat beside me and my daughter’s face in the rearview mirror and was reminded of my commitment that I would give that package away one day, but I would not if my daughter was in the car with me. Yet here I sat in the middle of a parking lot with a care package for someone that seemed to need the items, and perhaps to be shown a moment of compassion and God’s love. I sat and prayed, and yes wondered if I could catch my friends at the pizza date. I sat and looked at my daughter’s face and thought if she were in my shoes I would want her to “do unto others,” no matter what.

I drove up to this man, rolled down the window a bit, introduced myself and shared what the care package was all about. He stood there telling me that it “wasn’t much of a care package” and then told me a bit about himself. All the while “Larry” was taking items out of the care package and giving me a little smile, then took out the band-aids and gently placed them on his arm, took the time to smell the deodorant, and place the toothbrush and toothpaste in his shirt pocket, then placed the scripture card (and church information card) in his pants pocket.

I talked with him about God and our local homeless transition program, New Beginnings, and my desire to call the Case Manager (Bob) and have him come down to talk with him. He was not interested in New Beginnings, or what God has to offer. He shared that all he “wants in life is for someone to care about is the heart and the head, not what (he) can do for others.” I replied “God cares about you.” My 3 year old in the backseat then yelled “Yeah, God’s crazy about you!”

In the midst of our 10 minute conversation I learned that this 60 year old man needed a warm blanket. I made him promise to stay put and I would be back within 30 minutes and bring him a blanket. On my way home I called the New Beginnings office and Bob answered the phone. I asked if he could come talk and pray with Larry. Five minutes earlier Bob had an appointment cancel, and found out there is a room available at the Men’s House. Fifteen minutes later Bob and I took that man a blanket, and offered him hope that someone cares about him, a reminder that God is crazy about him, told him of local food and transitional programs, and of a homeless camp right here in the woods of Clermont that (as Bob put it) keep him safer, warmer, and perhaps even make a friend or two.

I don’t know where Larry will end up. I don’t know if he will call Bob, whose business card he placed in his pocket. I don’t know if I will ever come across Larry again, in this lifetime. I do know that within a few minutes he was across the street sleeping under a big oak tree and covered up with that blanket. I do know that God overcame my momentary motherly concern. I do know that when my daughter asked about “that man” I was able to tell her that we were helping someone, and when she replied “like God helps me” I was able to see in that moment how no matter our concerns, no matter our fears, no matter how far outside our comfort zone we have to go it is our duty to not only “do unto others” but it is our duty to teach our children exactly what that means.

Oh, and the pizza? I can’t believe I am saying this, because I love pizza, but I assure you today’s reward was far greater than any pizza I have

~Melinda Gill~

You go girls!!!!!!