Praise and Pancakes
As I’ve mentioned before in a previous blog or two, I have the awesome opportunity this year to work in the Service Learning Office. On Sunday, we had an event called Praise and Pancakes. For the event, we had 4 groups of Bethel Students go out to 4 different homeless shelters in the Mishawaka/South Bend area to make a pancake breakfast and then do a short worship service/message.
I wasn’t able to go my freshman year but I had heard that it was fantastic, so I was eager to go this year. I went with a group of about 8 students to Center for the Homeless in downtown South Bend and together we fed about 50 people. Let me tell ya, it was such an awesome time! In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I feel like I need to make, here’s a shocker, a list!
So here are some of the things that really stuck out to me about this service project:
1- God’s provision. As we were scrabbling eggs and frying pancakes, we all began to get a little nervous that there wasn’t going to be enough to feed everyone. However, we kept on cooking and shaking and found that the very last person in line got the very last bit of food. God provided the absolute perfect amount!
2- Getting to talk to the people we were serving. Often times, it can be really intimidating to talk to people who are different than you because you’re not sure quite what to talk about. For this project, it was really cool to see Bethel students step out of their comfort zone and sit with the people we were serving and really engage in conversations. I even got to meet a couple of really neat people and hear just a small bit of their stories. I only wish that we had had more time to get to spend with them!
3- Humbling ourselves. One of the people who came for breakfast, Jay, told me that he knew we were there because we were either being paid to be there, or because we were required to be there for a class. I explained to him that no one there was required to be there but that we all just wanted to serve them and get to know them a little better. We chatted for a little while and as I talked with him I realized that as Christians, our mission for Praise and Pancakes shouldn’t be to just tell them about Jesus. Our purpose should be to show them the love of Jesus and be there because we have a passionate desire to serve them, not because we think we should as Christians. The attitudes of everyone there were just awesome, so it made talking with Jay even easier because I knew everyone was going in with a servant’s heart.
4- Seeing the teamwork of students. I couldn’t help but smile as I looked around at everyone making breakfast. We ran like a well-oiled machine! Several people were making pancakes, several were serving, and several were replenishing the scrambled eggs supply. Everyone was super respectful and considerate of one another, and they frequently checked on the others to see if they were okay where they were. The communication was between us was great which helped keep our attitudes positive which, in the end, helped us to better serve everyone who came for breakfast.
I could go on and on about all the things I loved, but I think these were the main things. I’m already super excited for next year!