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Friday, May 6, 2011


It was about 10 o'clock in the morning and I was thinking about lunch time. What should I fix?

I had some left over tri-tip roast which was very tender and tasty but we had that yesterday. I had all the ingredients for making a stew so that was it. As I put everything in the pot and got it roiling, the smell began to fill the room and it took me back to the fifties when my church conducted a Rescue Mission service once each month.

It was a men’s mission so it was mostly men that went and testified and preached. As soon as you entered the door you could smell the odor of the evening meal which was always a kind of soup/stew and a couple slices of bread.

It was a mixed bag of people who were there, some were just traveling through, some were regulars and some considered the mission their church home. While there were a few that were just above the bum level others were truly born again and loved GOD.

In our church you either volunteered or the pastor would volunteer you. My Pastor decided to volunteer me, and for the next ten years I never missed a service. The Pastor of the mission was a tough guy that kept control for the men who were sometimes a bit unruly and would have to be put out of the service.

I truly respected this pastor as much as any I ever met for he was totally committed to his calling. He would drive his van around town and collect the food for the men. There was one man who gave constantly to feed the men at the mission and his name was Ronnie Svenhard the owner of Svenhard’s Swedish Bakery. His tasty pastries were a delight for breakfast and the men enjoyed them very much.

The services were interesting, in as much as you got to pray with men who you wouldn't associate with normally. We would put our arms around these guys and pray, not knowing if they had lice or some other problem.

The church was allotted one hour for the service and sometimes the one who was preaching would get wound up and would ignore the time. This would cause a problem for the men felt they were being taken advantage of. They were hungry and would become verbal and noisy, because they wanted to eat, as some hadn't eaten all day.

The memory still lingers of the old mission days and the aroma of the soup which fed many a man.

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