Miracle on Fenwick Street

New soup kitchen affords ability to treat needful guests like Jesus

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We call them homeless, impoverished, underpaid and underfed. The Master's Table calls them guests.

This direct outreach program from Golden Harvest Food Bank has served noontime meals to Augusta's needy since 1982, first through various church buildings, then in 1991 through its own facility in downtown Augusta.

As of last Monday, the soup kitchen is serving from its new location down the street at 702 Fenwick. Except now, the kitchen will be able to touch the lives of its guests like never before. While the old location was vital and much appreciated, it was simply too small and too old to accommodate and serve its guests.

"There was no time or room to treat guests like Jesus," says Mike Firmin, executive director of Golden Harvest Food Bank. Guests had to stand at the curb outside the small building, waiting to be shuffled through serving lines as quickly as possible, like a herd of cattle.

In the new building, the additional space and volunteers create a welcoming, breathtakingly peaceful environment that provides a free meal, with heaping side dishes of love, prayer and hospitality.

The guests are greeted and escorted through the beautiful courtyard, stopping to socialize and relax. The Table is more like a palace than a soup kitchen, and guests get a rare chance to be treated like royalty. The dining room seats 150 people, serving up food, music and clean bathrooms, and there are even two rooms where volunteers will be available to offer prayer and counseling for any guests who want it.

The sense of love and charity is overpowering, and the amount of community involvement in the Table's ministry is awe-inspiring. The new building wouldn't have been possible without generous donations, giving it the unofficial title, "The Miracle on Fenwick Street." The kitchen has received $1.45 million in donations within nine months for its planning and construction -- nearly the project's total cost of $1.5 million -- and volunteers have been wandering into the kitchen in droves to offer their valuable services. To the coordinators at the Master's Table, this is a dream come true.

And to the rest of us, the success of this project speaks volumes about the charity and selflessness of people in Augusta. The unbelievable generosity of volunteers and donors has truly created a beacon of hope, love and peace for Augusta within the Master's Table.

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Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/03/10 - 07:47 am
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When you feed the poor you

When you feed the poor you are a saint. When you force everyone else to fork over THEIR money in order to feed the poor, you are a communist.

That's a much better, more accurate quote.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 07/03/10 - 08:28 am
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When I choose to feed the

When I choose to feed the poor, I am a saint. When I enable them to stay poor while I feed and house them, am I helping? When I don't judge, will there be room in my life for anything else?

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/03/10 - 10:26 am
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"For you always have the poor

"For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you will, you can do good to them..." Mark 14:7

Straight from the mouth of Jesus, Himself. It wasn't like He ordered us to do it, even when He said that what we do to the least of His brothers (and sisters), we do to Him.

In the end, having a bad, intrusive government doesn't determine what kind of people we, ourselves, choose to be. If you let the government throw money at the poor for you instead of doing something for them yourself, how different are you than the welfare recipients who lets the government fulfill their personal, moral responsibilities instead of doing that themselves?

We do have the freedom to do good for the poor, even if the government also forces us to do it by taking our money. The government sure doesn't produce anything as nice for the poor as "The Miracle on Fenwick Street".

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 07/03/10 - 10:19 am
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Nothing mentioned about the

Nothing mentioned about the hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money that paid for this project? Who is John Galt?

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 07/03/10 - 10:22 am
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When the government robs it's

When the government robs it's citizens and "helps" the poor, it is not charity.......that's called socialism.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 07/03/10 - 11:01 am
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Are we "feeding the homeless

Are we "feeding the homeless and hungry" or are we, with this and the Kroc Center, building a mecca to attract more of them to Augusta? There is nothing I look more forward to than having healthy, well fed homeless people intimidating me with something just short of strong armed robbery on the streets of Augusta. After all, they still have to raise money for their liquor to have a drink after a good meal.

Indigo
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Indigo 07/03/10 - 12:58 pm
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Its about change dichotomy,

Its about change dichotomy, and Mike Firmin has proven himself over the last 30 years, doing what he does with little or no thanks. Mike is one of the most gracious people I have ever met. He is a true Disciple.

TSA will change Harrisburg for the better, read up on the stats for Kroc Centers nationwide. TSA isnt about a handout, they provide job training, counseling, and various other resources that this forum wouldnt have space to expand upon. We are fortunate to have Captain Mason at the helm in Augusta.

"When I feed the poor, call me a saint, but when I enable the poor to remain trapped in their turmoil via various government giveaways, call me a democrat"

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