Today we set out to our service site and were surprised when we did not see too many people in the reception area. When we entered the clothing area, we realized that everyone was just in the inner area. We immediately got to work, preparing breakfast, distributing clothing and whatever else needed to be done. Upon entering the clothing area, we realized that everything was totally mixed up and we needed to shut the station down for a few minutes to reorganize the clothing which was everywhere. In less than 15 minutes we were all set to begin the work of welcoming our guests with a change of clothes and shoes, if needed. The kitchen crew did an amazing job feeding the many hungry guests and had the experience of not being sure if the promised lunch donation was really going to arrive.
What is amazing to see is the number of guests who volunteer their services to help cook, clean and distribute clothing. One of our guests today was cleaning and tidying and when asked where her shoes were, she humbly responded, “No tengo zapatos.” In a manner of minutes, she had shoes as one of our volunteers made sure that she had what she needed especially after she had been so helpful during the day. Such simple actions cause one to be humbled by all that is happening.
After our group left for the day, we returned to our Basilica Hotel for a quick shower and change of clothes and we went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. It was a nice way to end the day. After dinner we came back and had our reflection and sharing session. During this time, we focused on where we saw/met Jesus today. Our responses were often in the faces of the men, women and children that we had encountered during our day. Each one shared how they saw Jesus in the faces of those we served today and in the faces of many of the other volunteers. Even though we are not able to take photos of these faces, I believe they will forever be imprinted in our hearts and minds.