Heavenly Manna more than food to homeless of Pacific Beach
by Rev. Brian Daly
The Pacific Beach Christian Church, located in San Diego, launched a feeding ministry two and a half years ago that has begun transforming the church. Every Wednesday morning volunteers gather bright and early to begin preparing 100 breakfast burritos to take out into our beach community to feed the homeless and hungry. The name for this ministry, “Heavenly Manna,” was inspired by some of those in the congregation who had been homeless themselves and knew what it was to wake up cold and hungry. Their thought was that to be given a nice warm breakfast burrito would be like receiving manna from heaven!
Once the burritos are rolled, placed in portable warmers and prayed over in the parking lot, another team of volunteers hits the street to find people where they are waking up to give them a nice warm burrito. Every burrito has a sticker on it reminding them they are loved by God along with an invitation to come join us on Sunday mornings or at our Recovery in Christ group on Friday nights. Some have actually begun taking us up on that invitation.
On any given Sunday we may have between five and10 people who come to worship with us that we first met out on the streets of Pacific Beach. We have even had residents from the community ask about the ministry who then offer to be a part of our Heavenly Manna team.
But even those who may not find their way to the church are grateful to be reminded each week that someone cares. It’s not unusual for our volunteers to spend time talking, listening and even praying with those they are serving. The burrito provides some food for the belly, but it is the connections being made that are providing food for the soul. And our volunteer team will be the first to say that their souls are being nourished too.
So just as God provided manna for the Israelites while they wandered in the wilderness, our prayer is this ministry will serve as a tangible reminder of God’s continued desire to walk with and provide for those in need.