agape Exciting things are happening
at Agape Café on Sunday Mornings.
Sun., Feb. 24, we served 90 guests!
What an amazing feat that was.

Pancakes flowed off the grill, while sausage sizzled in the oven. The meal was complemented by garlic roasted red potatoes and scrambled eggs; along with coffee, juice, cold cereal and milk.

Concern first came at 6am when the tables and chairs had not all been set up and we only had three workers to get breakfast ready. So we called upon some of our guests to help set up tables and chairs; and to help get other supplies ready. They are always so willing to help because they truly appreciate what we do for them. Tribute to an amazing crew that stuck out until the very end. While we were preparing breakfast, we were made aware of a medical emergency where a young man had been taking down his tent at the Hunt Branch Library and had stabbed his wrist. Called paramedics to assist. We had two people get into a heated discussion, and one ended up leaving. Bewildered, yes we were, very bewildered, and one of our workers reminded me that when we are doing God's work and sharing unconditional love, Satan will attack what we are doing to try to get us to stop. We persevered, we made it–breakfast almost on time!!! AMEN!! Thanks to hard workers and patient guests.

We have some people who react to situations differently than we might otherwise handle them and from time to time, disagreements happen when life on the streets takes its toll. We handle it with kindness, firmness and prayer. We are not called to judge another's lifestyle, just help where we can and encourage everyone to be kind, sympathetic and cordial. It works. These people are trusting us more and more; and discussing their needs and trials with us; looking to us for wisdom that they do not have or have forgotten because of their change of life situation and time without comforts and caring. Everyone of those guests on Sunday, whether we know them or they are new; clean or dirty; drunk or sober, gets a hug if they will except it. We see changes every Sunday to better relationships and acceptance.

Another neat experience, is the children of our team who help when they come. Several weeks ago, I was talking to several deaf mute guests, and learning simple sign language. All of a sudden the children were gathered around the table in awe of what we were doing. One child was heard saying, "That's awesome," so we proceeded to teach them some of the sign language. What a blessing!!!!

We invite anyone of you, who have the time from 7:30 to 8:30AM on Sunday morning, to visit the Fellowship Hall and check us out. Take some time to talk with the guests when you feel comfortable. You may stand back and think, "No, I don't think I can do this," But if you let yourself trust God to guide you, and see Jesus in the faces of these guests, I know your heart will be filled. If you want to work, we start at 6:00 AM Sharp!!

Agape Homeless Project is concerned, we had an awesome concert. Thank you to Vern Nelson and Cathy Woo for amazing music. Thank you to some of our team members and friends who set up and kept things going– Becky, Raymond and Donna D. Great Music, Great Fellowship, Great Door Prizes, and Great Refreshments. Yayo Morales of the Latino Ministry created a video showing our Agape Breakfast along with some statistics. Great job, Yayo. We had a special guest, John Murray, who is now devoting his time with the organization, Coast to Coast Foundation. He shared about Coast to Coast's mission and also about the new building that is in escrow in East Fullerton which will be used as a 24/7 Homeless Shelter housing about 200 beds, and offering services such as dental, medical through St. Jude Mobile Medical van, and other social services to try to help the homeless to become more self sufficient, self-reliant.

Our first Craft time for the homeless women was held on Thurs., Feb. 7 and they made Valentine decorations for the Sunday breakfast tables. The guests, men and women alike, must have enjoyed them because there wasn't one left on the tables. Our second adventure was a community project where three homeless people helped me clean the back parking lot of a local restaurant. Fallen palms, debris, refuse, rotten leaves, and people's Christmas ornaments filled 1 1/2 dumpsters. Ina, Kenisha, John and I worked very hard raking, shoveling, and hauling. Interesting thing was that Ina and Kenisha are both deaf mutes, so I guess you could say I wrote a lot of notes and learned a little sign language. We had several people stop by ask what we were doing and why we were doing it. We told them, and they were overwhelmed with gratitude. Some people just watched us and said nothing. We just waved back. After all our hard work, we went to lunch at the restaurant.

cleanup at Arturo's
Three homeless people helped Sharyl clean up the back parking lot of Arturo's Cantina and Sports Bar one morning in February 2013. We worked for 2 1/2 hours in the hot sun and made a world of difference in our neighborhood. Several people came by to ask what we were doing and so we explained. In the photo above are John, Ina and Kanisha, who are three of the guests who come to our Sunday morning Agape Café Breakfast. Agape Homeless Project is an offshoot of the breakfast and was set up to facilitate craft classes for homeless women and community work projects for the men.

John is a forty year old man who is going to school online to try to get his contractors license. John has a little bit of money to contribute towards a laptop, and with expertise of Richard Shea and a small donation from our concert funds, John will receive his laptop this week. Thank you, Churchfamily, for helping to make this happen through your attendance at the concert. More craft projects and more community projects are being planned. If you have any ideas or would like to help, please contact me.

Serving up a portion of Agape Love,

Sharyl Lewis
March 2013

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