Dinner time at the Shelter City

You never know who’s going to join and how many people will be there. Every day it’s a surprise. Sometimes a few staff members join. Other times the dining room is packed with staff, cleaners, and guests. Many times people have shared how they have appreciated dinner in the Shelter. Being able to sit down together, enjoy the blessing of sharing a meal, hear stories, and have fun. It’s like a family. Sharing a meal together in a family can be such a powerful act of love and here I share about some of the guests touched by this.

“I am yours.”

A few weeks ago Tea, one of my colleagues, invited a German guest to dinner. This experience of sharing dinner with us surprised and overwhelmed the woman. After sharing food, we played a song called “Who Am I”. This song touched deeply and she began to open up. The phrase “I am Yours”, made her think. She shared that it’s a comforting idea to belong to someone instead of being alone.

Having recently broken up with her boyfriend, she was wondering about the meaning of love. Some of her ideas came very close to what the Bible explains about love. I started to read from 1 Cor. 13. As we read, she saw some of her own ideas about love and relationships in the passage. The fact that these things were in the Bible, surprised and encouraged her. She dared to admit, that for the first time in her life, she was interested in faith.  The longer we spoke, the more questions she asked. “What does the story about Jesus and the leper mean?” “Why did all the bad things happen to Job?”

She had never read the Bible but knew some biblical stories from her grandma. We spoke for a long time. Eventually the conversation ended with a hug and a big smile on her face; she was excited to start reading her own Bible for the first time in her life.

“What’s the purpose of life?”

The other day, a friendly woman checked in just before dinner time. She had worked in the army, had traveled a lot, and was doing well financially. However, she also struggled with depression and had many questions about life. After sharing some information about the hostel, I asked if she had any questions.

‘Yes!’ she said. ‘What’s the purpose of life?’ A bit surprised, I asked her how serious she was. Very serious. I invited her to join us for dinner and so that she could have more space to share her questions. Different people spoke with her, and she also took a Bible from us.

Praying for them on their journey

What happened to these two people? To be honest, I don’t know, but I do believe that their stay in the Shelter impacted their lives. Let’s hope and pray that both of their lives will continue to be changed by the Word of God.