Saturday, October 20, 2007
Manna Packs in Austin
Carol and I were riding with Walter and Morgan to Macon and Kellsey's house in Austin last weekend when we came to a busy intersection and stopped for the light. There was an apparently homeless person standing just off the street, with a dog and with a sign asking for food. To my surprise, Morgan asked Walter to grab a "survival pack", which Walter then slid out from somewhere under the seat, and handed it out the window to the fellow with the dog. Carol and I were in the back seat of the car, and I looked down and saw more such packs underneath the front seat. Morgan said that people at their church pack these things to give to people like the one we saw at the intersection.
Because we have so many "homeless" in the downtown Miami area, this very much interested me. I asked Morgan if I could have a pack, and she gave me one. I took two photos, as you can see. One is of the kit all ready to hand out, packed inside the gallon size Ziploc bag. The second is of the contents of the kit unpacked so you can see them.
The kit contains, as I think you can mostly see, a bottle of water, a granola bar, a can of Vienna sausage, a pair of white socks, a big garbage bag, the kind that stretches, a tract with "Selected Bible verses from the book of Romans that leads us to new life", and a paper with a list of agencies in Austin that address the needs of these sorts of people.
My idea, maybe, is to pack a couple of these in my brief-case and have them ready to hand out. Not that, on an emotional basis, I really like those people. Because I don't. I also see hand-outs as giving them an incentive to hang around. But this is sort of a bargain that I may be interested in: I give you this kit and you, maybe, will read the tract and go to one of the local agencies. (I had thought about including a one-way bus ticket to Austin, but discarded the idea.)
UPDATE: Make that "manna pack" rather than "survival pack". (Thanks, Walt.) As in John 6: 57 and 58:
57As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.