Matthew 25:40 (HCSB) says, “I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” In this passage we are directed as believers to care for those who are hungry, thirsty, ill or in need of clothes. We are called to look outside of ourselves and see the needs of those around us. One of the ways our Hermitage Hills family is answering this call is through Room in the Inn. Each week, Room in the Inn provides eight men a hot meal, a warm shower, new undergarments, warm gloves, hats and scarves and a place to sleep for 23 Wednesday nights from November through March. Because of the compassion of one Hermitage Hills’ member, $1,500 was raised to purchase cots for the men to use! The Room in the Inn team—Bobby Bass, Kim Pitman, John Goodman, Mark Edwards, and Dianne Shell—give faithfully of their time to serve these men each week during the winter months. “I believe that God gives us all spiritual gifts, and this ministry gives each of us a way to serve and use the gifts God has given us,” said team member Kim Pitman. “We feel that we receive more of a blessing from these men than we could ever be to them.”
The men, or guests as the team calls them, have an opportunity to enjoy simple things like playing board games or watching television. “I believe that through Bobby Bass’ leadership and his servant heart, our desire to view the men as our guest has spread to our team and down to our volunteers,” Kim explained.
A hot meal is provided each week by Dave and Kelly Hollister, owners of Whitt’s BBQ in Hermitage. Volunteers from the church provide side dishes, dessert, and a sack lunches. Many of the volunteers stay and visit with the guests. These volunteers serve the men and listen to their stories. “Each of our guests has a story to tell and sometimes they just want someone to listen,” said team leader, Bobby Bass.
The team also shares a short devotional from God’s word. This year Room in the Inn at HHBC has served 187 men—that’s 187 dinners, breakfasts, sack lunches and 46 trips downtown to pick up and drop of guests.
Children are encouraged to serve alongside their families in Room in the Inn. They, too, can make a difference. Children can help refill drinks or visit with the guests. In December, the children’s choir served the meal and performed their Christmas musical for the guests. Debbie McConnell and her team of volunteers decorated the tables and room to make the night extra special. Many of the men who come to Room in the Inn have children and grandchildren, so spending time with a child, who is volunteering, reminds them of their own families.
Room in the Inn is changing lives and answering the call in Matthew 25. Recently, a 10-year old boy presented the ministry with a Wal-Mart gift card for $135. This young man decided to give up birthday gifts in order to provide for Room in the Inn. From the volunteers to the guests who enter the church doors each week, God is changing hearts. There are many ways to plug into this ministry. Whether you are preparing sack lunches or serving a meal, there is always room to serve.
~ by Jamie Scott
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