Members Offer Hot Breakfast During Record Cold

February 13, 2017 | Denise Rutledge

Members of the Beit Shalom Balevav Jewish-Adventist Congregation expressed amazement as they met on Jan. 14. Plans laid months earlier seemed providential as record-breaking cold weather descended on Vancouver, Wash.

Road conditions and 12 inches of snow had forced cancellation of services for the weekend; however, those with four-wheel and all-wheel drive still made their way down to the homeless camp along 12th and King streets in downtown Vancouver.

Hot oatmeal disappeared quickly, along with pancakes, hash browns, scrambled eggs and hot chocolate. Most of the nearly 50 people who went through line expressed gratitude and commented on how delicious the food was — ample reward for braving the cold.

Several tents found new owners — one being especially appreciated by a man who had snow blowing in through a tear in his old tent. Fleece blankets, sleeping bags, wool socks and personal care items went quickly as well.

When a deaf man wrote a note asking if he could have one of the partially used propane canisters, the team smiled. He left with all his empty canisters refilled. What pleasure to see the surprise and joy on his face.

Every volunteer’s feet may have been aching with cold, yet everyone’s hearts glowed with joy in sharing Jesus’ care for the downtrodden. The congregation looks forward to their next opportunity for bringing fresh food along with encouragement to this group within its community.