On this Monday, October 22, 2012, I have been in my home awaiting an appointment with Pastor Steve to find a resolution to the impasse' he and I arrived at yesterday regarding LIFEBOAT COMMUNITY CHURCH FOOD PANTRY...his instructions to me...my actions to fulfill those instructions...his decision that I have failed him.
Even though I visited Pastor Steve's home early this morning, no response / invitation has been received by this late hour of 6:55pm. I am very concerned for this situation. Firstly, I am totally devoted to Pastor Steve. I have set aside one year of my life to do his bidding. Secondly, I have, to the best of my ability, fulfilled Pastor Steve's instructions.
Arriving at Salvo some many weeks ago, I have leased my small home only 2 blocks from the Food Pantry and three homes away from Pastor Steve's...so to be close by and available at all times.
In addition to my specific actions for / at the Food Pantry, I have daily requested the opportunity to do tasks for Pastor Steve personally; i.e., maintain his property as well as chores to do with maintenance of church grounds. Only last Wednesday, Pastor Steve said that because of my efforts, the Food Pantry - inside and out - has never made a better presentation.
I began my time for Pastor Steve by cleaning out the entire food pantry premises, including removing ALL food items. I then scrubbed down all shelving, walls, freezers, and floors. I next hand sanded the shelving and varnished the woodwork. The floor, I etched with acid, rinsed it clean, and thoroughly painted the concrete surface. I then installed a large floor carpet covering much of the newly painted concrete.
In the process of the above, upon removing all food items, more than a few "vermin" - creepy crawlies - scampered about. I activated a "bug bomb" inside the pantry, effectively killing everything. One or two critters have since snuck into the pantry, but have been immediately killed and removed.
All cleaning materials, acids, paints and tools, I purchased from my own pocket.
Since that initial cleaning, I have, every two or three days, disinfected all shelving with liquid spray - moving displayed cans / bags of food item - and hand washed down the entire display / storage surfaces.
Oohs and Aahs have been received nearly every time clients enter the pantry...first impressions !!
I did not stop there.
Upon my arrival, food donations typically arrived at the pantry AFTER the advertised opening time of 9:00am. As the result, product was not segregated, sorted, or displayed. A mad rush always prevailed by waiting customers to rummage through arriving donations; i.e., there was NO organization allowing customers to view available product and certainly NO time / effort to display it.
I instituted DEMANDS that the hours of operation be changed to allow proper receipt, sorting, and display of donated products. My demands were denied. Recently, I have been requested by Pastor Steve to drive to the donation point(s) to pick up the food. I have seen to it that I picked up donations and returned to the pantry much earlier than the 9:00 am opening to allow unloading/sorting/display. Customers can now leisurely "shop" in a clean orderly pantry.
Problems between Pastor Steve and I began to develop early on, but being a newbie and trying my best to please Pastor Steve, I held my peace until two days ago, when I asked to be brought into the loop of information when food pantry decisions were made. After all, I was asked to be manager of the food pantry, and as I told Pastor Steve, I could not properly do my job unless I was informed. I emphasized that I had - and have - no interest in making decisions...only that I be informed of HIS decisions. Pastor Steve, after mulling over my request of Saturday, informed me yesterday morning - before church services - that he could / would not do that.
Pastor Steve then continued...that by my "organization" of sorting / displaying food within the pantry, I have been encroaching on the "accustomed" practices of his large number of volunteers - of the past 5 years or so - and that his solution to his other volunteers was that I was to leave ALL arriving donations at the doorway entrance...effectively, baring my entry to do my job.
Since that moment yesterday, I have been totally ignored by Pastor Steve and his immediate family...now I read on Facebook pleas for "prayer" to resolve their terrible crisis.
Having no problem with prayer or asking others for their prayers, I really do believe there is a rational acceptable solution to this - to me - minor problem...to wit:
In response to repeated requests that I return...(..."when are you coming home"...), I have moved 3,000 miles at great cost to dedicate my voluntary services to Pastor Steve. Pastor Steve, in my experience, is one very special man to whom I have and stand ready to continue to do his bidding...for which I refuse to accept any remuneration ($$)....give me his wishes, point me in the proper direction, and give a gently nudge.
Since Pastor Steve will not allow me to come to him, perhaps this blog appeal will reach him so that this unfortunate circumstance can be brought to a comfy conclusion and I can get on with my promise to serve Pastor Steve.
In the interim, except for 1.5 hours to complete my early morning extreme walking regimen, I await in my home.