With a hefty push, I opened the vehicle’s door and slid out, mentally digesting the scene permanently etching itself into my brain. Crowding the main doors of the church lingered a small fraction of the homeless population in Wichita, Kansas. A few tired souls stood, smoking homemade joints while mumbling about the dangerously low temps. With exhaustion and utter bewilderment tattooed on their faces, I tried not to stare but couldn’t help it. To the side, a raggedy-looking woman sat on her haunches, shielding her precious new-born baby from the biting cold wind. For this day in time, a team of volunteers from Central Christian Church and I were hosting a meal to feed needy people of downtown Wichita. Due to my small-town childhood, my eyes were kept from the reality of how many people need our care. According to the Homeless Program of Segwick County, on any night, around 650,000 people are lacking shelter or a job in the U.S.
In a tough resolve, I decided to make our guests feel like royalty for as long as they were in our care. Even though many of them got grabby and seemingly ungrateful, it humbled my spirit to know that we were making a difference. “Making a difference” doesn’t start with the whole world, or even America. It starts with one person deciding to put aside their schedule for a second, and genuinely serve, free of political agendas or propaganda. Regardless of whether the people we served remember our labors or not, we were bettered because of it. And it always, just starts with one.