Last winter I spent days at Vanderbilt Hospital with my sister as she went through two surgeries. We live 2 1/2 hours from Nashville. So I lived at the hospital for several days while she was there. The day we were preparing to take her home from the hospital, a precious group from one of the local churches brought us a what I called a “Blessing Bag” It was filled with lunch items which included Smuckers Crustables (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) purchased from the frozen section of your grocery store, a personal size bag of chips, a bottle of water, an apple and bite size candies. It was such a blessing to all of us after spending so much money in the cafeteria during her stay. It made a lasting impression on me and I have wanted to minister the same way to others.
Although the small town I live in has a small local hospital, most of the patients are also local residents. The family members that visit are able to go home daily so I’ve haven’t felt the need for this ministry at our hospital.
Our church has visited the www.bridgeministry.org in Nashville, Tn multiple times over the past few years to help with their homeless ministry. So I decided these “blessing bags” would be a wonderful way to minister to the homeless. However, our small town, also, does not have a homeless community. As far a I know we don’t have any homeless. So I needed to find somewhere we would be able to give out these bags.
My daughter visits Nashville multiple times each year for Dr. visits and she and her husband, also, have a desire to minister to the homeless. So we began making our version of the “blessing bags” to give out to the homeless when she has appointments in Nashville. I usually make 10 “blessing bags” for each visit.
I wanted to “say” something to these precious people to minister to their souls as well as their stomachs. I have spent several hours searching for “printables” I could put in each bag but could not find anything that really said what I had in my heart. So I began to pray about what I could say and this is what I decided on.