“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’…and [Peter] said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’” John 21:17
“Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’” That’s precisely the goal of Soup4Souls, a new ministry led by Catherine Morris in Powell River, BC. “It is a dinner and social event held on a monthly basis at our local Community Resource Centre (CRC),” Morris explained. Catherine and two friends, Brian and Lisa Oakes, took this dream and made it a reality with the help of their local church and a little community support.
A team of 9 volunteers from Kelly Creek Community Church served the first Soup4Souls meal on Saturday, January 20th. “Our outreach event went very well but there was a terrible storm here with almost hurricane force winds that evening. Only five people were brave - or hungry - enough to venture out. But our team had fun and were very enthusiastic and worked together well. We are looking forward to doing it again on February 17th,” Catherine commented.
The Soup4Souls team may be small, but they have already worked out a system to make them efficient and effective; “Brian is our head cook and Lisa has an administrative gift. She organized us all into teams so that each person had a specific role: food prep, set up and serving, greeting, and clean up. I'm the front line person, so I spent time trying to create a relationship with the folks who came in. Our food prep team made hearty chili con carne and coleslaw, which was served with corn bread and/or fresh buns.”
The local interest, on a support level, has been vital in launching this new ministry project. “Most of the food we used was donated by the grocery stores in Powell River. Brian went to the Managers, who were happy to help us. Other than that, we bought a few things ourselves using money that was donated to our ministry.” Powell River’s Community Resource Center, which has been operating since 2007, also stepped up in a big way to allow the use of their space. The CRC provides a wide range of services from public access computers to laundry facilities, but their main purpose is to “assist people who are experiencing low income, social or cultural isolation and those who are multi-barriered, homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.”
Despite a slow start due to the weather, Catherine and her team are not discouraged. They’re forging new ministry ground, with big hopes for what the Lord will do through them. They are already dreaming of bigger plans for Soup4Souls; “Eventually, we hope to go weekly, although we may need to recruit other volunteers to help us!”