by Laura Bibby
Don Triggs and I are confirmation mentors for the current confirmation class. This fall, we were blessed to be able to attend the Urban Plunge weekend experience in Des Moines. In preparation for this trip, each student and mentor were asked to prepare a blessing bag that would include some items that would benefit the homeless, i.e. gloves, socks, hat, toiletry items, hand warmers, as well as a note or a scripture verse to share God’s hope and love. Our plan was to give them to a homeless person that weekend, which we did. It was amazing.
On Sunday in preparation for our return trip home, Don and I discussed doing something like this with our 4th-6th grade students in Sunday School. Don Triggs and I gathered the items, and we had our Sunday School class pack the blessing bags. We were able to arrange with the Shelter House in Iowa City an evening where the Peacemakers group could distribute these bags to the homeless. It made a huge impact, not only on the homeless but with the kids as well. Don Triggs asked the congregation for additional gloves and socks to be donated to the Shelter House as they hadn’t received any yet.
Last Sunday, Don and Rochelle Triggs and I planned to take the donated gloves and socks to the Shelter House. On my drive to Iowa City, I noticed that I had a blessing bag in my car leftover from our Shelter House visit. As I passed by Walmart, I noticed that there was a homeless man begging for anything you could spare. Because I was running a few minutes behind to meet Don and Rochelle at the Shelter House, I thought to myself that I would give this blessing bag to the homeless man if he was still there when I returned. I even stopped at Aldi’s to pick up some snack bars for him to eat, figuring that he would be hungry. The homeless man was still there and I pulled into Walmart and was able to give him the blessing bag. He was very grateful for the items I gave him. He immediately went to put them in his backpack by his bike. I was so thankful I had something to give him.
There have been many times when I didn’t have much to give a homeless person and wished that I had something prepared ahead of time and decided at that moment, I need to carry blessing bags in my car all the time. I hope that this is something you will decide to do to give hope and share God’s love with someone in need. The joy and peace you feel are beyond imagination. And it is truly a blessing that only God can give.