On a crisp November morning more two decades ago, a group of volunteers met early in the morning downtown to serve a simple breakfast to the homeless. It was on 9th Avenue and Buchanan under the 7th Ave bridge and I had never been to this part of town before.
What I saw that morning changed my life forever. I knew there were people who are poor and living in the street. As a Haitian, I have seen poverty but certainly not in the context to which I was exposed that first morning. I was flabbergasted to see people living in such a state, in the State of Arizona right down the street from the Capitol in one of the most influential cities in America!
I came home feeling totally distraught, asking myself why isn't anyone doing something about this atrocity? Why? Why? Why? Then deep down inside, I heard a small soft voice whispering why haven't YOU done anything about it? I remember shedding a few tears over the realization that it only takes one person to make a difference.
As the story will unfold, my heart will be serving on Sunday morning downtown. Although the location has now changed to 12th Avenue and Madison Street, I've seen one miracle after another. Lives have changed, friendships / alliances born, an army of volunteers galvanized, provisions made. Sure, adversities still exist, but through it all, our hands and feet have become the hands and feet of Jesus!
I will encourage you, as you read these words, if you are hearing that small soft voice regarding any area of your life, don't ignore it. Please do what it says. I promise you will never regret it; I did not.
In Love , READY TO SERVE,
The Bridge for Community Services
Haitian-born Christine Ellis is a registered nurse with a mission is to make a difference in the lives of under-served populations. With over twenty five years of elder care experience, she operates Cedar Sanctuary Homes, LLC, realizing that families needed an alternative to the “mass-care” approach. Her passion is community service, receiving many awards for her dedication.
As co-founder of nonprofit The Bridge for Community Services, Christine is proud of the work accomplished in feeding the homeless during the past two decades. When she believes in a good cause, she is the “Make-It-Happen Lady.”