Why Did Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship Start A Community Dinner Instead Of Sandwich Run Or A Food Bank?
Most of us have heard the Chinese Proverb: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
Sandwich runs and to a lesser degree Food Banks offer scant opportunity to fellowship with or establish a meaningful dialogue with the homeless and marginalized. Both can make it awkward and embarrassing to those on the receiving end of a sandwich or food from a relative stranger. This can be a great stumbling block to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the ‘volunteer’ may appear condescending or patronizing to a homeless or marginalized person.
It is extremely difficult to share how faith in Jesus’ sacrifice allows all to be equal in the eyes of God, especially if they find out that volunteers are paying a fee to give a sandwich to them! At the cafe, there are no fees required to volunteer.
BLCF Cafe Community Dinner guests, who are the homeless and marginalized, are treated with dignity and respect, served a warm meal with music, and fellowship. These conditions are perfect for meaningful dialogue and to establish friendships as a launching point to witness as equals at the same dinner table.
A short testimony and shared scripture are given as the dinner’s second course, served between the main and dessert. Over time, our guests develop an appetite and appreciation for spiritual sustenance as much as the dinner served at the cafe.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit some of our guests now help to serve others at the dinner, giving of themselves, showing that they have learned to become fishermen/women and embracing the Mission Statement BLCF Cafe Community Dinner:
‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.’
– Matthew 25:40.
A number of our guests have made a decision to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, which demonstrates how marvelous and great the work of the Lord is when we trust him to transform a simple function as serving and sharing a community dinner into a meeting of faith and worshiping of our Lord. Many returning guests feel that the community is their church meeting. Jesus knew what He was doing when he fed the multitude as He shared His message on the mount.