Dallas – When the mantle of spearheading a Thanksgiving Day banquet for the homeless in South Dallas by RCCG – The Winners Assembly fell on me, rather than be like them that dream, I became like them that quake. No sooner, diverse thoughts began invading my mind. Do I have what it takes to ensure this program is a success? What if people do not show up on that day? Is the timing to prepare for the event not too short? These were some of the questions that paved the way for anxiety to rear its ugly head.
Pastor Manita Fadele, Pastor James Fadele, Pastor Raphael Adebayo at the ‘feeding the homeless’ banquet
As Thanksgiving Day drew near, everything else but my thoughts seemed to be in place. Some donations came from the least expected quarters. The number of people that signed up as volunteers was impressive; Items for robust gift bags for the guests were adding up and the turkeys, dressing, side items, drinks, cakes and lots of desserts were good to go. Raphael Adebayo, the Senior Pastor of RCCG – The Winners Assembly and members of the team were expectant and ready for action.
Thanking Day arrived on November 22nd and fortunately was greeted by very nice weather. At 8am, the team was on ground and volunteers were showing up from all corners. By 9am, only two homeless men had come and my thoughts began a ridiculous number on me. By 9:30am, as homeless guests began to file in, the butterflies in my stomach started flying out. It was a scene that will be etched in my memory for a long time. The room became and remained crowded as the event swung into full action as planned. I became dizzy with excitement. The joy in the air was contagious and the music from the choir was exceptional. The homeless men and women were waited on, served, chatted with, prayed for and given a gift bag and back pack that contained a Bible, socks, toiletries, a blanket, t-shirt, wash cloth, water and a wrist band. It was truly a humbling sight to behold.
Ministering to a homeless Woman
During the program, Pastor Adebayo shared his vision for the homeless in South Dallas; The chairman of The Redeemed Christian Church of God North America, Pastor James Fadele gave a sermon on Loving each other and men currently residing in one of the three homes for the homeless owned by The Winners Assembly Church gave testimony of how their lives have changed for the better. Pastors and their families from different churches in the metroplex were also in attendance.
Some members of the Nigerian Women Association, Dallas, Texas
The program officially ended by 12pm but the feeding continued till 1pm. As I drove back home I felt fulfilled and regretted permitting anxiety to provoke unnecessary worry in me prior to the event. The bottom line is the mission was accomplished – we united as one and gave back to the community on a very special day. One thing is for sure: in the future, I know better than to worry about what has already been taken care of.
By May E. Olusola (MannaExpress). Photos by Kevin Dukes
A Trendy Africa Media Production.