Love At The Laundromat
Evangelism In Your Neighborhood
Several years ago during the “I’ll Fight” day, accepted candidate Amanda Cain was part of a Christmas outreach at a local Laundromat. The occasion stayed lodged in her heart. When her area commander received a donor donation, it spurred them on to hold a day to show love to folks doing their laundry around Oklahoma City. Over 96 households received laundry soap, dryer sheets, Bibles, a copy of The War Cry, contact information, a light canteen–style lunch and took part in conversations and prayer.
Saturday is the busiest day for Laundromats. During the morning and afternoon volunteer teams visited five locations, which varied in number of customers. Since most customers are able to do all their laundry in about an hour and a half, visiting during peak times is essential.
The visits were designed to encourage people at the laundromat. Customers were quite surprised by the attention. Cain states, “Many people asked, ‘Why are you doing this?’” We told them because Jesus loves us all, we just want to show His love to others. People were amazed and overall, accepting of it. Many people told us that we made their day and it was very encouraging.” About 200 people, representing 96 households, had a lunch of hot dogs, chips, soda or water.
Roxie Cain, a soldier at the corps, was able to provide a Spanish Bible and have a conversation with a Spanish–speaking mother, whose son translated their conversation. The woman began to cry. Her son explained that she was crying because she was so happy to have a Bible in her own language, something she had never had before. In the past, her children read from an English Bible and translated it into Spanish for her.
A married couple met a woman who was trying to avoid eye contact with them. Eventually they were able to engage her in conversation. She related her fears that she would not be able to stay sober. She was 40 days clean and was trying to stay away from people and temptations. The husband had just graduated from the Adult Rehabilitation Center and was able to tell his story of overcoming a meth addiction. Their conversation and prayer time emphasized that she was not alone. They also invited her to the corps.
“The focus of our outreach was just to be generous and share love,” Cain said. “Every corps has a way to reach out, we just have to find it.”