On account of the pandemic, it had been several months since I had last ministered to the materially poor. Right away I was reminded of what I had been missing, which was the connection to and gratitude of those a little less well-off than me
Approaching people enjoying their afternoon in the square, I wasn’t sure what their reaction to our group would be. I was rather surprised by the questions they had for us. Who were we? Not just that we were this missionary group called Shalom, but moreover our individual names. What was this food were we offering them? Just as I would or probably any one of us in the group, they were interested in knowing about what exactly was this food we were offering them!
Would you pray for me? This one certainly surprised me the most.
Even though we did not have enough boxed food for all, several people were delighted when conversation turned to our faith and this led to others coming to us to engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogue about this faith.
One astute gentleman observed the college branded apparel I was wearing and we struck up a thoughtful conversation about his health and journey when he heard I worked in public health. Although not a person of Christian faith, he nevertheless welcomed our prayers over him and acknowledged their power to heal. It was truly a faith-filled afternoon together for everyone present!
Chris Massad is a member of the Work Shalom since 2020.