It was Spring Break 1980. Four college freshmen piled into a 1972 Chevy Vega, left Central Kentucky and headed to Pensacola, Florida. An ice chest took up two-thirds of the teeny-tiny trunk. It was filled with enough bologna, hot dogs, soft drinks, mustard and mayonnaise to hopefully last us four days. The remainder of cargo space held four small bags containing one extra swim suit, one extra t-shirt, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant…well…you get the picture. The only other clothing we had were the swim trunks, t-shirts and flip flops we were wearing. The only other items in the car were: frisbees, a football, a couple of books, our cassette tapes (KISS, Peter Frampton, Bob Seger, Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack and The Cars.) We lived and slept in the Vega for four days. We washed at the beach showers – semi-scrubbing our clothing as we bathed, sat on the hood of the car for all our meals and returned to finish Spring semester with a passel of stories. It’s the only time I’ve ever lived in a car. It was a choice.
The Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) is a partnership between United Ministries and several churches in our area to provide shelter and support for families in Greenville who are experiencing homelessness. Formerly referred to as GAIHN, we have participated in this partnership for years. The educational space in the lower floor below our Fellowship Hall is transformed into living rooms, bedrooms and dining areas. Families enjoy safe space, good food and friendly faces during their time with us. We will next be hosting homeless families March 29-April 5. (This is one of four weeks out of the year we serve as hosts.) If you would like to be part of this amazing ministry, you can help with set up and break down on the listed Sundays, provide or help serve a meal, be an evening host from 5-8pm, or be an overnight host from 8pm-7am.
It’s fine for a bunch of college freshmen to spend a week in a car by choice. Families should have a safer, more comfortable place to stay and a more suitable diet to enjoy. Contact the church office (233-2527) or our Missions Director Laura Stout (email or 233-2527 ext. 145) if you would like to volunteer.