Family in Need

Just a quick little update on the family in need. The children are just adorable, cute as they can possibly be. The father is doing what he believes is best for them, and we are trying to come along beside him, speaking wisdom and truth into his life with hopes that God will use us in this situation. Please pray for this father's wisdom. We so much desire that he would come to Christ, and that he would receive the help and advice to change some of the circumstances in his life. Pray for us to have wisdom as to how to best help and minister in the situation. Pray for the children that God's hand will be upon them in a special way. We also need continued prayer that God will help Paul and I to remember that God sees the bigger picture, and the little steps along the way that can be somewhat overwhelming are just part of a bigger plan. What happens today is not the end of the story, and we have to trust Him every step remembering that He cares more about this situation than we can comprehend. This prayer is really more for me, as Paul speaks this truth in my life daily. Thanks to all that have taken a special interest in this situation. ~Charity


Great Need

Last night at Food for Life we met three adorable children. The father has come many times before, and he asked Paul to pray that he would be reunited with his family, but it didn't work out like he had hoped. The mother moved back in with him and brought the children, and then she left them all there. They have almost nothing, but he says he does have a job and a place to live, probably an apartment. Food for Life will be collecting items to help this man with his children.
They have one bed, but they need more beds for the three children. The children are ages 2 (girl), 4 (boy), and 7 (boy). There is a need for all household items and furniture, diapers, and clothes. There may be a great need for babysitting, but Paul and I are going to try to go see where he is living and assess the situation better tomorrow night.
Please drop off any donations at Streetside Catering, 5010 Old Spartanburg Rd. Taylors, SC. Streetside is located across the street from Brushy Creek Baptist Church.


Newspaper Article

This was a good article about Paul and Food for Life Ministries in the Greenville News last Wednesday. I included it in this post in case anyone missed it.

He was a late Blumer, but he's at top speed now.
Paul Blumer, a restless 32 when he became a Christian, is now a 42-year-old entrepreneur brimming with enthusiasm and energy. He pours much of that energy into his catering/cafe business in Taylors, where he is executive chef in an operation that prepares about 4,000 meals a week.
By 6 p.m. each Tuesday, Blumer is investing energy into the Food for Life ministry. Now in its 10th year, the ministry matches both of Blumer's greatest passions — serving good food and encouraging spiritual growth.
Each week, Blumer joins about 15-20 volunteers — including wife Charity and parents Mark and Bonnie Blumer — to prepare and serve a meal to any hungry souls who might arrive at the Triune Mercy Center, on Rutherford Street near downtown Greenville. The meal, and the opportunity to talk about spiritual matters, is offered freely. The Tuesday meal is one of three the nondenominational mission church serves each week as part of its ministry to the homeless.
Blumer, who had worked in the Greenville food industry since his teen years, got the idea for his work with the homeless shortly after his spiritual awakening in October 2000.
“I had a vision for a ministry called ‘Food for Life.' The ministry would feed the spirit, soul and body of a person,” says Blumer, who began the process by leading Bible studies in Carpenter's Cellar coffee shop on Main Street. With help from other volunteers, he assembled backpacks filled with Bibles, blankets and personal hygiene items and offered them to the homeless and needy.
As he began to build relationships with homeless men and women, his ministry stretched to other nights of the week. Often, he would take leftover food from Strossner's Bakery, where he then worked as a manager, and distribute it to anyone he happened to spot on cold winter nights along Washington Avenue.
As the Bible study grew to nearly 50 from zero — he was alone on his first four weeks of the Bible study — Blumer's group soon outgrew the location. At about the same time, with his father's financial support, Blumer opened Streetside Catering in Taylors.

In 2003, Blumer moved the ministry to the Triune Mercy Center, where a kitchen and a welcoming atmosphere waited. His catering company provided the food.
“At about that time, we stopped being a Bible study and started being a ministry,” says Blumer. “But we're not just a soup kitchen. The ministry is a lot more than what we do Tuesday nights.”
Over time, donations have helped him feed the clients, which number 60-80 each week. His passion to see others grow spiritually motivates him to bring the message.
“In the Scriptures, you see that Jesus identified with those he ate with. When you minister to the homeless, one of the hardest things for them is to listen to someone who doesn't know them or doesn't care about them,” Blumer says. “Having a meal together helps break down that barrier.”
It costs the group about $150 a week to provide the meal. Through more than 500 Tuesday nights, Blumer has always managed to find the funds.
“We don't have a lot of money in the bank, but God has always supplied the need,” says Blumer, who gets regular donations from the SOS Thrift Store and individuals.
Blumer shows no signs of burnout, in part because of loyal support from volunteers. During the months when North Greenville University and Evangelistic Institute of Greenville are in session, the group has numbered as many as 70.
“A couple of years ago, I was feeling discouraged. One day I realized that it is not my ministry — this is God's ministry. I really don't know anything. All I do is stand there and proclaim that God's word is truth,” says Blumer. “If I do that and love people, God can use me.”


Rejoicing in God's Provision

This Tuesday was awesome! Although volunteers were sparce, God was working away! I got to hear good news about Mike, from the last blog. His Mom allowed him to come back home! That is God's Mercy at work folks. Then I was able to speak with a young man named Blake. He was just hired on at a Waffle House! Awesome! He said he would keep his head down and I told him to keep his chin up at the same time! God has been so Good to Blake because he has been on the street for a year now and is looking forward to an apartment in the near future. Wow. We were praising and thanking God in prayer by the end of that conversation. We also heard good news that Sean is out of the Hospital and back in his apartment and even washing cars already! It's not all bad news every day. God is working and we need to be careful to give Him the thanks and praise. But it is Hot outside and we need to pray that God would look after the needs of each and every Homeless person in Greenville. Thanks, Dan


One the street at 21

I shared with a young man named Mike last night at Food for life. He was there early at 6 and looked lost and new so i asked for his name and shook his hand. He asked if it was ok if he was there.. i said that was fine. I asked if he would sit down and share his story with me. And that took us for a 2 hour ride. Mike was into drugs at the age of 12. He said it went from being a "big deal" to later down the road watching the rerun of an old t.v. show you don't even like. He said that he began to be isolated from old friends and then it was just a couple of them and then he was alone more and more. But to be on the streets was the farthest thing from his mind. It wasn't until he was fired from his most recent decent job that he said he snapped. He said he went on drinking binges and using... He couldn't handle the stress. He was kicked out of his house, lost his car and more all in a matter of a few weeks. He ended up out on the street looking for a place to stay dry carrying everything he owned.

I asked Mike if he knew why all that happened to him. He said it was because he was stupid. I said all of us are stupid and do dumb things that's not the answer. I asked him if he went to Sunday school when he was a kid. He said he did. I asked if he remembered the story of the wise man and the foolish man. This is where the foolish man placed his hope in anything but God (sand) and the wise man placed his hope in God alone and first (rock). I then explained that He had been placing all his "hope" in his job instead of where God designed it to be. So when the storm came he went bezerk and couldn't handle it. He said life isn't like the movies huh? I said no, movies are for entertainment not for how to live. The Bible is for how to teach us to live.

Mike said that he said a prayer last night all of his own accord. I hope in God that 10 years down the road Mike will look back and say WOW look what God has done in my life. What about you? Can you look back and say, WOW? If not, you and I can "repent" or change our minds and start to put our confidence in God first and the gospel of Jesus and then build your house of expectations carefully on the Rock. So if a hurricane comes on shore we will be left standing and not be washed away.

- Dan

Volunteers to Post

It has been weeks since we have posted on this blog. It is not because there is a nothing to say, it is just finding the time. However, we continue to meet every week and feed the homeless and share the gospel. This week we served 85 meals.

In the future we will be asking some of our volunteers to post weekly sharing their own experiences and how God is using them to change others lives. I look forward to reading these reports each week.


Why We Are There

We are all looking forward to this Tuesday night with the homeless. We are asking God to provide for all of our needs, volunteers and homeless. We realize that needs of the homeless are many and they are basic that we may take for granted; like shelter, dry clothes, and food. But we all have a need for a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This is a need that we all have whether we are a volunteer or a homeless person.

Each Tuesday night we try to fulfill the most important need we all have. How can any of us see that need unless someone explains the Gospel which is available to everyone. That is why we come downtown each week. So Glory to God. May we see more either turn to or return to God through Jesus Christ.


Henry Singing

Henry is a real Renaissance Man of the homeless community. He writes, paints, and sings among other talents. He has more talent in his little finger than I do in my whole body. Triune Mercy Center gives opportunities to homeless to expand their God given talents and to perform for others.



I was talking with an individual who was scheduled to enter a program the following week. He seemed to lack the conviction that he could complete it or that it would do him any good. If fact, he said he would not do this if it had not been forced on him by the courts. The main problem, he explained, was that if anyone crossed him, he could not help but to retaliate. Of course, that is what got him in trouble in the first place. I tried to encourage him that not only could he complete the program but that it could help him. Then explained his real problem.

When he was a child he was tied up and beaten by his father. He could not understand why he was treated that way and why his mother allowed it. He had a hate love relationship with them. He said he was taken away a number of times because of the beatings but always to be returned to his parents and the abuse. Once he become older and strong enough to defend himself, he became the abuser to anyone who got in his way.

We see sin every week in others and in ourselves. His sin is justified in his own mind because he was treated a certain way. But sin lucks in all of our hearts and we are always trying to find a reason for our behavior other than looking within ourselves. The only real program that works is to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Become a new creature. One who loves God and each other by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That is the program that we present each Tuesday night. That is the only hope.


Rainy Days

Last Tuesday it was pouring rain. I always feel so sorry for the homeless when they come in wet knowing that the best they can do is dry off inside. Unlike myself, who was wet, will go home later and take a hot shower and put on dry clothes. I am uncomfortable for a few hours while they are uncomfortable all night. Even later they will get wet again walking to the mission. Naturally, many did ask for a ride from the volunteers but the general rule is we don’t give rides. One commented to me as he left, everyone wants to be a friend inside but not friend enough to give him a ride to the mission. That comment made me feel bad considering the circumstances.

One of the homeless came in walking with a cane and taking tiny steps. He has been around for as long as I can remember. He has always been friendly even though he has been on the street for years. I saw him many times cry like a baby during the service, so bad that I would get him a tissue to keep his nose dripping on his clothes. I once visited him up the street. where he was sleeping next to a building. It was very cold that night and we had some blankets to pass out. Tonight he looked real bad. The nurse at Triune said he had taken his first dialysis today and he would probably not make it to the mission on his own. We decided to get a cab for him after he ate. As another homeless held an umbrella for him, he made his way to the cab. I thought to myself that the cab should be going to a nursing home instead of the mission. What will he do in the morning at 6:00am when they turn everyone out. Wherever he goes it won’t be an easy walk.

Tonight we served 120 meals with the assistance of 22 volunteers. Gordon, one of the volunteers, gave his testimony. Everyone said it was amazing what God has done in his life.



As we start the New Year, I was thinking of how many people that helped us last year and the meals reported each week. It really adds up, but the most important number is not reported each week. That is the number that accept Christ and mentored by one of the volunteers, the many people that receive funds to help them keep their lights or heat on. How many that are driven to detox or put in a room for the night due to illness or provided a coat or a blanket for a cold night. The really important numbers many not be reported but they are the most important because they represent lives of people that are in need. So even though we report each week on meals served and volunteer hours, that is not the most important numbers.

With that said, last week we served 146 meals with the assistance of 18 volunteers.


Food for Life Cancled because of Weather

Food for Life is canceled tonight due to the fact that Triune is closed because of weather, and the 40 degree shelters are open and most of the homeless will be staying there and eating there.