Sunday, 19 February 2012

Brickfields' Soup Kitchen, KL - 18 Feb 2012

We had heard much about the street ministry or soup kitchen that we decided to experience it for ourselves, as well as to introduce such community service to our urban children. The children these days spend too much time in schools and tuition / enrichment centres, it is good to open their eyes to see some reality in the community they live in.  

We went to the Samaritan Ministries' Soup Kitchen in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, the place which is a potpourri of different walks of lives. For the last 3 and a half years, the Samaritan Ministries has faithfully reached out to the homeless, hungry and needy in Brickfields through various programmes such as free meals, medical clinic and a Drop-in Centre.

The Samaritan Ministries is a joint effort of YMCA Kuala Lumpur, the Kenosis Home and Trinity Methodist church, Petaling Jaya. YMCA provides financial support and the location. The Kenosis Home is a drug rehabilitation centre and their residents take care of the cooking and logistics, whereas Trinity church provides the financial and material support as well as recruits volunteers to carry out the work.

Pre-briefing for Volunteers
There were some students from a nearby college as well as individuals, both independent and those from the organisations that support this ministry. The number of volunteers may be different every week.

Our children took some time to warm up to the work, and absorb all the things they saw there.  

There is a core group of volunteers that organises the food distribution and on-site operations.

At 1.30pm, lunch is served, consisting of rice, vegetables, a portion of meat, banana and a glass of tea.

'Teh Tarik' session after lunch provides time for fellowship with one another.

An on-site clinic is available for those who need medical attention. A volunteer medical team will attend to those in need, and referrals are made to hospitals when there is a need.

More than 50 people were present for the lunch yesterday. Attendance may vary between 50 to 100 people for the Saturday session. Brickfields has a large blind community and they will be given the priority for the table seating.

The whole session was done by around 2.30pm. There is a Drop-in centre nearby so the needy can check in to take shower and rest for the day. It is a day centre and the needy will have to check out at the stipulated time in the evening.

When we were leaving, it started to rain and we saw that the organisers and volunteers drenched in sweat and rain. It was not a glamorous or easy work. It requires commitment, perseverance and lots of compassion. We plan to go back to the community work with our children again.

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