“Hi, good morning, would you like some breakfast?” is a greeting once again expressed by members of the San Fernando Valley Filipino company to their unhoused neighbors. After halting for more than a year due to the pandemic, the homeless breakfast ministry resumed this April.
Two Sundays each month, volunteers from San Fernando Valley Filipino company rise early to pray together, purchase more than 50 breakfast platters from a local Jack in the Box, and load up their church van to distribute the meals, bottles of water, and GLOW tracts.
“The main purpose of this ministry is to reach out to some of the less fortunate children of God who might not be reached by any other means,” said Rueben Rafanan, pastor of San Fernando Valley Filipino company. “We believe we are planting seeds through the care we are giving. We tell ourselves that only in eternity will we know what the results will be.”
Noah Asfaw, first elder of San Fernando Valley Filipino company, first shared the idea for the ministry with Rafanan about three years ago, before presenting it to the board, who unanimously approved. A resident of the San Fernando Valley, Asfaw saw the extent of homelessness in the area and felt compelled to act.
“For me, it’s an expression of my personal gratitude toward God meeting my needs,” Asfaw said. “The greatest form of expression of gratitude is action. We do it because we love the Lord.”
Because the company does not own its facility and rents space from San Fernando Valley Academy, setting up a food pantry or preparing their own food are not viable options. Members had to get creative to figure out how they could best meet this need of their community with the resources available to them.
“There is more than one way to do this,” added Asfaw. “We’re able to create a personal touch when we go to them.”
“We are intentionally going out and meeting people where they are,” Rafanan shared. “We don’t wait for them to come get food from us; we go to them. Even though it’s only breakfast, one meal can make a difference.”
By Araya Moss