Journal 15- The Sulzbacher Center

Last Friday, we went as our mitzvah trip to the Sulzbacher Center, a homeless center in Downtown Jacksonville. It is different than most homeless shelters, though. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Most shelters only serve one or two meals a day. Our job there was to take down all of the Christmas decorations on the bulletin boards and put up new decorations on the boards. I worked with Benjamin C on a board, and we wrote 6-7 quotes on the board, one of which was written by me and another by Benjamin.

At the shelter, the verse Jeremiah 29:11 was painted on the wall “I know the plans I have for you”, Declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Our job for this post was to write why would this quote be at a homeless shelter. I think that it would be there for many reasons. One, to show the homeless people that they were put there for a reason. There is a bigger plan, and they being in their time of distress is one part of the plan. Something better will happen to them that requires them to have some suffering now.

The second reason is because the workers wish to give the homeless people hope. They are telling them that although you need some help now, a little help back on your feet, things are going to get better. You’re not going to stay this way forever. You just need a little guidance during this time of peril, and God has a plan for you. He’s going to help you and make you happy once again.

Help the homeless!

Help the homeless!

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63596312@N03/12169983344/in/photolist-jxqm43-bexvGa-8Vd9qn-8Vd7rV-gbzVsv-7GGeHb-8Vd6Xi-9T9KU6-9TLzB7

In the Desert

I am an Israelite, from the tribe of Naftali. I, when in Egypt, was assigned as a foreman over the other slaves. When Moses came, I believed him from the beginning. I always felt that our savior would come from G-d. He was always watching over us, even at the worst times. My wife and friends thought I was just silly and a little too optimistic.

They were convinced a little when they heard about Aaron’s staff swallowing Pharaoh’s magicians’ staffs. They all were completely sure when the Nile was turned into blood. In the ten months of the plagues, we were glad that the Egyptians were punished. We felt no gratitude for them, after brutally forcing us to do the cruelest jobs just for their entertainment. We were especially happy after the plague of lice was over, because then we stopped working for the Egyptians. We were even happier after the plague of boils, because then our actual servitude in Egypt was over. We rejoiced along with all of our brethern as we left Egypt.

We happily witnessed the splitting of the Reed Sea, and sang songs of praise to God. At Marah, however, everybody rebelled. I strongly advised against it, telling them that we could find water elsewhere, but they rebelled. They would not trust God! I sadly watched as my brothers openly rebelled against God who took us out of Egypt. A few weeks later, when the food ran out, even I complained a bit.

 How would we survive? I wondered. We could find other water springs in the desert, but food was impossible to find. We didn’t see any animals in the desert, and nothing grew. I was wrong, though. God rained down mann, the greatest food ever to behold us. Holy food, sent straight down from heaven. Dew fell, and then the mann, and then more dew covered it. It was like it was in a package from heaven. It tasted like whatever we wished it to. It could be cold, hot, dairy, meat, fruits, vegetables… We were always sure that God would provide for us. I guess you want me to tell you what my mann tasted like, huh? Well, I shall. My mann tasted like fish. Fish with lemon juice on it for extra flavoring.