Can we see a miracle in this “stay-in-place” situation?
The Covid-19 virus, or coronavirus, has changed all plans and practices. The Christian Shelter recently went into a “stay-in-place” mode to protect the over fifty guests in residence. These fifty vulnerable guests included over twenty (20) children!
To protect our existing guests the Christian Shelter is currently not admitting any new guests because we have no way to determine the virus exposure history of a new guest. The Christian Shelter is first and foremost attempting to keep safe those guests that we have already committed to shelter. This is a sobering responsibility, but one that we solemnly accept, to protect and help the Lord’s children at His Christian Shelter.
The Christian Shelter desires to adequately feed, shelter and protect the guests to the maximum degree possible. These guests have nowhere else to go to seek protection from this virus exposure. We need to be their shelter, safety, covering and protection. The Christian Shelter is the primary line of defense for these guests and their children.
But in all situations we are advised to; “Give Thanks”. The Christian Shelter is so very thankful today. We are blessed in so many ways, including some ways that are hard to fathom.
Providing food for over fifty guests and staff for each meal for days and weeks during this “stay-in-place” period is a real logistical challenge. The Christian Shelter and the local community have been requested to “stay-in-place” by our government. The Christian Shelter further asks our guests to “stay-in-place” as we also desire to limit outside visitation as much as we can. So the influx of food to feed our guests has come to a standstill.
The Christian Shelter needs a very large quantity of food each day to keep the families, women, children and men healthy and well. The logistics of bringing new food to the Christian Shelter each day would be unfathomable. The Health Care community has provided specific recommended methods for “cleaning” foods to protect our families. However these methods of removing the virus to protect healthy food preparation are very labor intensive and beyond the capacity of the Christian Shelter to accomplish on a very large scale. These specific tasks that the Christian Shelter would have to institute for food safety would be so very difficult to accomplish, such as:
- Washing each of the vegetables & fruits individually in soapy water, then rinsing in cold clear water. This is time consuming and difficult within the kitchen area
- Using appropriate cleaning sprays on all food packaging surfaces is difficult in large quantities
- Wiping each food can and bag with 65% alcohol solution is difficult and time consuming,
- Use of gloves and masks when preparing food is awkward and difficult,
- Use of a large special containment treatment area for newly received, untreated foods to keep them separate from guests, staff, food preparation areas, and from other foods (avoiding cross-contamination)
So as the Christian Shelter had been praying and looking ahead, we were anticipating some bleak days to come over the next few weeks and months as this virus lingered. In short, food might be in short supply and the opportunities to receive donations of food during the “stay-in-place” order would be greatly limited. Also the Christian Shelter did not have the labor to receive and process a large amount of outside foods that must arrive each day. What did the Lord have in store for His Christian Shelter? Things looked challenging, confusing and difficult for the operation of the Christian Shelter and bleak for our guests. What did the Lord have in mind for His Christian Shelter? How would He protect us?
Recently Salisbury University sent its students home for Spring Break and then later canceled in-person classes for the rest of the semester. This left the university’s dining service with food that it could not use and food that would otherwise go to waste. Thankfully the University donated this large quantity of food to the Christian Shelter, so that almost immediately when the Christian Shelter went into “stay-in-place” mode our larders were full to the brim. The quantity of food provided to the Christian Shelter is sufficient to feed our guests for many, many days, perhaps even several weeks to come.
We marvel at our Lord’s timing and provision for His Christian Shelter. We marvel at how His provision allows the Christian Shelter to enter into this “stay-in-place” mode with over fifty guests to feed and with no outside food supplies entering the Christian Shelter. What a peculiar and marvelous occurrence to have food supplies already within the Christian Shelter pantry.
Is this situation Providential? Is this the Lord’s provision for His Christian Shelter? Is this situation a miracle?
We believe that the Lord has been providing for His beloved poor and that His hand is steadily upon His children at the Christian Shelter for these past 40 years.
Is it a Miracle?
Yup, we believe so, without doubt. Thank you Lord.