Colfax, CA

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Text and photos by Nancy Longyear
December 9, 2014

It’s a Tuesday morning at the Colfax United Methodist Church on Church Street. The crowd begins to gather around 7 am. The volunteers are busy inside preparing a warm breakfast, clothing and fresh food for distribution…the place is buzzing with activity.

Art greets the folks as they enter. He has them sign the roster and explains to them the process in case they are “new”. The main message, he told me, is to let them know they are not alone.

The kitchen volunteers have been busy since before 7am preparing the breakfast for today. Greg does the cooking, Linda runs the kitchen operation and Phyllis, John and Mary assist.

What’s on the menu today? Burritos made with scrambled egg, cheese and sausage; tortilla chips, beans and fruit, coffee and juice. A wholesome warm meal that is much appreciated by all.

A few minutes past 8 am the door is opened and the folks enter. Everyone is welcome. We formed a circle for some sharing. We began with a song, “Come go with me to my father’s house”. Everyone sang along. Next we were told the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then Jerry led us in a prayer that was heartfelt and comforting to all of us in the room. He told us “eternal love will last forever”.

Breakfast was served. Bradford provided music with his guitar.

The tables were prepared for distribution of food and clothing. The volunteers made bags of necessity items. A special treat today, pie of several flavors.

Today I also met Ann, Stephanie, Bobbie, Gaylen, Dawn and Roy to name just a few of the volunteers. Ann told me she helped to secure the use of the United Methodist church for serving those in need. Marsha is affectionately known as the “burrito” lady because she was making burritos and giving them out to those in need.

In the spiritual room there are batteries and lights that many folks need who are living “on the street”. After breakfast anyone who wishes can stay for a bible study. There is no pressure to join this time of study but anyone and everyone is welcomed.

Colfax is a small community of about 1800 people. It’s above Auburn and high enough so that it gets snow several times a year. The Colfax ministry of WWJD, Inc. serves between 30-60 people. They have about 25 volunteers that help pull all of this together every Tuesday. Donations come from Starbucks, The Placer Country Food Bank, WWJD, inc. funds and the local clothing bank.

This ministry is successful because of its volunteers and because of its guiding “angels”, Junia and Jerry Babylon. I have watched them work and in my mind they are angels.