Written by Loretta Phares.
The December 5th Holiday Dinner for area refugees at Grace, in partnership with the IRC (International Rescue Committee) and Lorraine Avenue and Zion Mennonite Churches, reminds us of the title from an 80’s movie, The Trip to Bountiful.
Certainly the food offered was abundant. In addition to the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, donated home-made salads and desserts spanned several tables. Around 150 people were served. Leftovers were delivered to Inter-Faith Ministries and the Union Rescue Mission.
Even more impressive was the number of volunteers who made a plan, set up the Great Room, greeted, cooked, served, put together centerpieces and gift bags, assisted in arts and crafts for the children, washed dishes, tore down, vacuumed, and much more. Working-teens lent their enthusiasm, and several members chose to make it a family event. Thank you all.
Volunteers had an opportunity to visit with guests at their tables. Serendipitously, two people who had first met each other in a refugee camp in Kenya, re-connected at the dinner. Neither knew the other was in Wichita. I’m not sure who felt more blessed that day – the guests or the hosts. It was a bountiful day for all.