It usually rains quite heavily in the evenings these days in Penang. Last Saturday (3rd March) evening was no exception. This was quite worrying time for the group of parishioners from the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) at Sungai Ara in Penang as they had planned to carry out a Street Walk to feed the homeless that evening.
This activity was planned and organized by CDM’s Ministry of the Poor in conjunction with the Lenten season. The work on food preparation had started as early as 2 pm in the afternoon. A menu of chicken curry, a loaf of Bengali bread with a small cup of mineral water was planned for each packet of food. About 40 people took part in the preparation and 15 chickens were cut up so that each of the 98 packets of food prepared contained at least three pieces of chicken with a potato.
When the packing of food came to an end, the group assembled for a briefing on the safety when going about distributing the food, the rain had not stopped. After a short prayer given by the organizer, Xavier Rajah, the food was placed in a van and two cars and they were off towards the city center.
At around 11 pm as they reached the vicinity of Komtar the rain eased and stopped. We were blessed by divine intervention as clear skies greeted the group as they distributed food to the homeless on five different streets around the city. All the packets were distributed and the group returned to CDM around 12.30 am.
For many of those who participated in this activity for the first time it was an eye opener to the number of homeless people in our midst. Many of them were quite young too. One of the four members of the youth that belonged to the Love Squad mentioned a sense of satisfaction of doing something so meaningful and yet it was so sad to see people in such a state of need.
Dr. Ivan Filmer