We spent this last week working at the base, and joining in with different ministries they run here in St. Croix.
Cory helped the staff clean up all of the supplies from NIKO. There was quite a bit to do, but with so many people helping out it was finished rather quickly.
Another job on the base was cleaning the sugar mill. We washed all of the cushions from the furniture and then hosed everything down and Cory powerwashed the floors.
We also shared kitchen duties helping with lunch and dinner prep when we didn’t have other chores to do.
Somehow the fact that Cory has technology skills was originally overlooked on our applications, so when Vanessa found out he could help, he was put to work immediately! He’s been fixing computers, installing projectors, fixing networks and doing this and that all around the base. They are in need of an IT guy on staff and are attempting to recruit us to stay for good.
Tuesday morning I woke up bright and early and went to a homeless ministry called Lighthouse Mission with a couple other people from the base and Cory had a turn to go on Friday.
On Tuesday I helped in the clothing “shop” where the homeless can choose clothes. After sorting clothes for a bit, I joined the group that was beginning to gather on the corner of the street. Everyone gathers for prayer here before breakfast is served. While sitting there, I met a very interesting man who had come to partake in breakfast. His life was the classic story of being ruined by drug addiction, but he was now clean. He held nothing but contempt for everyone who was still living like he used to, and informed me that everyone who comes to the Lighthouse is just “playing a game” for a few hours in order to receive the benefits (free clothes and food in exchange for listening to a sermon during mealtime).
Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The king will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
It doesn’t matter the attitude of those who are receiving the services. Of course, it would be nice if everyone was genuine and really appreciated what was being done, but what matters is our heart to help others in need. What matters is that we do our best to show God’s love through our own lives, words, and actions.
Cory had a different experience the morning he went to Lighthouse… Before breakfast was served, everyone was outside picking up trash and an angry lady who had been banned from coming was outside yelling and swearing at everyone. Thankfully Cory’s observation skills were at work and he noticed she was not just an angry lady, but she was an angry lady with a knife and headed towards the women on the outreach team who were oblivious to the danger. He made them go inside to safety and then advised the pastor to call the police to handle the situation.
After the police got her calmed down and on her way, Cory settled in to helping with the ministry. He served food and spoke with some of the men about their relationships with God and their need for drug rehab.
We have been keeping quite busy and we are really loving our time here! I’ll post the second ministry post soon with the other things we did this week.