Rise & Shine: Haven from Hunger

Rise & Shine

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16

Created by the Community Outreach Group, “Rise & Shine” is a series of articles highlighting current ways West Church members are “shining brightly” for Christ on the North Shore. The Holy Spirit enables believers of all ages to share the gospel in varied and creative ways. The groups and individuals featured in “Rise & Shine” have responded to the Spirit’s prompting and serve as encouragement and motivation for us to “go and do likewise!”

Faithful Service, One Plate at a Time

In the 1980’s West Church members joined volunteers from Peabody churches for community outreach with the South Danvers Benevolent Society, The Sutton Home for Aged Women and the soup kitchen held in the basement of the First United Methodist Church on Washington St. After a fire destroyed the Methodist Church, the soup kitchen was relocated to the Masonic Lodge at 71 Wallis St and named “Haven From Hunger.”

In 1985, churches and volunteers organized into a monthly rotation. West Church committed to a roast beef dinner with a brownie dessert on the first Monday of every month. Over the years, many from West Church have compassionately served dinner at Haven, establishing a comradery in the kitchen.

Despite the transient nature of the crowd averaging from 35 to 100 guests, meaningful relationships have been established between the servers and those being served.

One West Church volunteer recalls a unique connection made with a troubled young woman who asked, “Would you give me a hug?” Over the months, she delicately tried to instill worth into the homeless woman’s heart by engaging her in spiritual conversation to no avail. “If God loved me, He wouldn’t have let me go through…” she reasoned. Although the woman stopped coming to Haven on Monday nights, the team prays that the seeds of hope planted in her life will take root someday.

For more information on the outreach to Haven From Hunger, contact the West Church Community Outreach Group at Outreach@westchurchpeabody.org