The first Month of HOPP has been a success! In the month of May we set out to provide free meals to people who don’t always know where their next meal will come from.
Our very first project was on May 13th. We brought together a team of 14 teenagers, ages 12-17, and most of us come from the same church, but one of our friends was helping us out even though he was visiting Thailand on vacation! We can’t say thank you enough for his willingness to come with us instead of relaxing!
We all met at 11:00and began packaging the food and making a solid plan for the day. It took us about an hour and a half before we were completely ready to go. We had a near total amount of 60 bottles of water, 80 meals, 110 sporks and had a generous amount donated to PAWS Bangkok (a shelter for stray cats.)
We then split into two teams and began walking down Sukhumvit Road.
Hey! Sherry here.
My group started walking out of soi 10, crossed the overpass and went towards Phrom Pong BTS. We continued along the BTS line, stopping to give food to people we met. At one point, we walked along the railroad tracks to give food to people in the neighborhoods there.
We mostly stayed together as a group, but occasionally split up into 2 in order to reach more people. One problem we ran into was that it started raining! Some of our food was in cardboard containers, so we had to take a small break and walk under a covered area, but we kept on through it, and God really blessed that by bringing us to more people! It was super amazing to see the looks on people’s faces and their gratitude! One little girl even clapped happily which was so cute! Our whole team was really encouraged to have made a difference.
Near the end, we also walked down near Platinum and Phetchaburi, and eventually ended up at the Phaya Thai BTS. We were all a bit tired, but excited because we finished giving out all the food! As a team, I think we all had an awesome time, and are really thankful for that opportunity. We hope many people felt blessed, and that others are inspired to try something like this themselves!
Brodie’s and I’s team walked along the other side of Sukhumvit Road up until we reached Phloen Chit, where we then took the skytrain to go to a different section of the city that we knew always had a few people that would love a meal. When we got there though, it was completely empty, which was shocking. It was scary not knowing if they were gone due to legal causes or because they received the help that they needed, but I’m going to put my faith in God and hope that they are all doing okay.
We walked down a few more BTS stations and found a few more people, and then we took the train to walk alongside the river. We were able to provide a meal and water to a woman who couldn’t see, and also were able to provide a lunch and dinner to a friendly man we had found readying to settle down for the night.
The next week, on May 19th, we went with an organization, called Rak Teh, that partners with our church, to do the same thing as before. This time though, we split into 3-4 teams and walked around a neighborhood that the team we joined had been working with for over 8 years! We walked around and people came up and asked for a meal, knowing why we were there. They introduced themselves and we indulged in light, casual conversation.
Along the way both times, we prayed for the city and smiled at the people that we had the opportunity to smile at. We let God lead us in where to go and what to say and in the end were able to have some amazing moments that we can’t recreate. Seeing the smiles and being able to talk to new people was a heartwarming experience that I think all of us enjoyed and were inspired by.
I think one of the biggest struggles, for me at least, was seeing the poverty closer than I usually do. I often forget that everyone has their own story and that no matter what someone’s story is, we need to show love to them as God does to us. We’re all loved equally no matter what our life is like. And being able to share that love to others and to have even small, short conversations with the people is what God wants us to do.
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who came with us and to those that gave donations! And also a big thank you to our friends for letting us use their house! We hope that you’ll continue in joining us to make a difference, no matter how big or small.
And throughout the whole month of February, God’s love has found us. More than once, these verses have found a way into our weeks without our meaning to. So here we share the verses, as a good reminder of how we should live our lives to follow Jesus.
Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Things to look forward to
-We plan to continue going once a month with Rak Teh and hopefully we will be able to get to know the community more.
-Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we will be switching around the months of June and July. So next month will be the house cleanse month and then in July we will be doing the 40 Hour Famine to support World Vision.