Tuesday morning I woke up and headed back to the Open Door Community to volunteer. Before we began out volunteer work we all circled up and had a devotion. Ed Loring, one of the founders of Open Door, lead us in a devotion entitlement and race relations. Ed is a very very passionate man and it was inspiring to hear him speak about something he felt so deeply about. He mentioned anti-miscegenation laws and how wrong they were. Unfortunately the sentiment did not die with those laws. There are still many people who are opposed to interracial marriage and dating for what reason is beyond me. We discussed some possible reasons that people may be opposed but ultimately it boiled down to fear and ignorance.
After our devotion the jobs were divvied out and I was given the position of one of the servers. The doors were opened and people began to file in. They came and sat down and I brought bowls of soup to them as they came in. I also gave the refills on soup, tea, water, bread, and peanut butter. This is the routine on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. While we were serving lunch there were other volunteers organizing clothes recycling, showers, and vitamin distribution. Later that night they would also have a women's clinic and foot clinic. I enjoyed my time serving and it was much more humanizing than other forms of free lunches. I was not behind a serving stand but was out interacting with everyone and serving them.
When the last person was served we began to clean up and rearranged the tables into a circle and had a meal for all of the volunteers. Over lunch we continued our discussion from the devotion. Others shared their experience with racism and with people who frowned upon their relationships or were even abusive towards them. Others told stories of people in their neighborhood who were murdered for their interracial relationship and that the people responsible were never held at trial. We have fortunately progressed some since those days but we still have a long way to go and there are areas that still suffer this same oppression.
After lunch I spent the afternoon talking with the various resident volunteers and partners and they shared with me parts of their stories. They all have different backgrounds but all of their backgrounds have led them to the same place: the Open Door Community. Open Door is a wonderfully diverse and loving community. After spending some time with the different members of Open Door I headed out to have dinner with the second Mission Year House. Rather than have an extra long post I will post later with more details about that visit.