The Lufkin November Report

“Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.” Psalm 75:1

October-a month of changes and challenges.  There was plenty of food to satisfy our hunger.  And plenty of children’s talk, laughter and squealing filled the women’s dorm as the month of October slid into November.

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-3

Total working-8

Praise the Lord!

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Thanksgiving Day

November 27, 2014

Bible Study and Meal-2:00 pm

Guests and volunteers welcome!

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Lorenzo is in the news, again, this month.  Due to family situations Lorenzo has found another job.  He is still living here but is not a part of the GODTEL Lufkin team.  Lorenzo’s experience of care giving at GODTEL is most helpful in his new job.  Cooking, transportation and daily care are some of his responsibilities.  With the higher paycheck coming in it won’t be long until he can move into a home of his own allowing him to have more time with his daughter.

Two precious saints changed their addresses from earth to heaven this past month.  Rick Pensinger was a fellow servant at GODTEL Ministries.  He “based” out of Livingston, but he parked wherever he was needed.  He died from oral cancer.  Through prayer it was decided he would go to Florida.  He could get the medical attention he needed and be with his family.  During this time he was a living testimony to God’s grace.  We will miss him.  His family will miss h9im.  He was a blessing, indeed.

Vinez Minton was a friend of GODTEL.  She requested gifts be given to GODTEL when she passed.  And we have received several gifts in her memory.  I loved her visits.  One time we sat in her back seat with the back doors open.  We were sewing something.  I don’t recall what we were fixin’, but we had the giggles of school girls that afternoon.  Other visits were in the office sharing God reports or prayer requests.  We will miss Mrs. Minton, but I doubt she misses us.  J

Our population stayed up.  Quite a few have been at GODTEL before.  And a few came and returned within the month of October.  They were not all here at the same time but we had a total of nine children and their mothers in the women’s dorm.  However, there were still seven young ‘uns at the end of October.

Avery is a unique name.  It has an aristocratic sound to it, don’t you think?  We had the unique experience of having two Avery’s at the same time residing at GODTEL.  And before you ask-no, they are not related.  The younger Avery is two years old with dark hair, big brown eyes and a smile that will engage your heart and will definitely turn the heads of those pretty young girls in years to come.  The older Avery was not very co-operative and had several medical issues.  We were only able to help him a day or two.  We pray he got the help that he really needed.

We had some famous names here, also.  Jimi Johnson and Reggie White checked in.  I can’t say anything about their football prowess, but these two men needed our help.  Jimi has moved on.  Reggie is still here and is employed.  Praise the Lord!

Our guest cooks hit the bull’s eye as they prepared and served tasty meals targeted at satisfying the hungry beasts.  And satisfy they did!  We ate chili dogs, pork chops, beans and cornbread, lasagna, sloppy joes, taco soup, and pizza.  Dolores is our onsite cook.  She does a great job.  She prepares two meals a day and helps with breakfast, too.

Our student volunteer, Lindsey, not only answers the phone well-she makes a mean spaghetti dish.  She served French bread and garlic butter with the spaghetti and we were all full and ready to take a nap.  Thank you.

THANK YOU!  There are so many of you who help feed us at GODTEL.  Several businesses give regularly to supply our food items that turn into tasty dishes.  Thank you to Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods for donating chicken.  Thank you to The Spud for already baked potatoes.  Thank you to Shipley’s Donuts for donuts.  Thank you to Blue Bell Ice Cream for yummy desserts.  We, also, get donuts from Sandra’s Donuts in Houston.  Did you read it right?  Yes, you did.  We have a sister in Christ who works in the city to the south during the week.  She worships at a church in Lufkin.  It seems that Sandra’s Donuts is close to her place of employment and she stops there for donuts.  One conversation led to another and here we are-blessed with “imported” donuts.  The family who owns this store is from Cambodia.  They share stories with our sister in Christ and she shares the Lord with them.  Thank you, Sandra’s Donuts.

Even though this will arrive after the day-I hope you remembered to hug a veteran on Veterans Day.  I am an Army brat.  My daddy served 22 years in service to his country.  He loved the United States of America and all for which it stands.  I hold this part of my heritage close to my heart.  Thank you, Daddy, for serving our country.

I hold you folks close to my heart for your support allowing us to stand for the Lord on top of this tiny hill on Moody Street another month.

Dearest of all, I hold my heavenly heritage IN my heart.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow, Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Amen

 

 

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

“So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever:  we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.”  Psalm 79:13

 

Going Home

Note from Nancy:   This has been a year of loss for our family, but a gain for those we have lost. On June 7th this year, my dear brother-in-law Don Bass left his shell behind and entered into the presence of his beloved Savior. Ever since then I have been planning to try and write a fitting tribute to his life, including his service to his country during the Korean conflict, his missionary service to Jesus in Turkey, Yemen, Mexico, and around the U.S., and the love he had for his wife, his brothers and sister and other family members. I feel most unequal to the task of doing him the honor he is worthy of. He would beg to disagree with me, I am sure, and he would shrink from any accolades I would bestow upon him. He was that way—quiet, humble and in love with Jesus.

The other loss we recently experienced, Robin will tell you about.

Rick Pensinger:  At Home With the Lord

On October 27, GODTEL received a phone call from Rick’s mother, Jo Ellen Truchan. She was calling to let us know that Rick passed away early that morning. She and Rick’s step-dad, Don, had taken him to the Emergency Room Sunday night because he was having difficulty breathing. He was being prepared for a CT scan when he had a heart attack. The doctor did not expect him to make it through the night, so she offered to let Jo and Don stay with Rick. They were by his bedside when he went to be with the Lord early the next morning.

Jo Ellen said she is rejoicing Rick is with the Lord Jesus and not hurting any more. I would like to share part of an email she sent us October 21, about a week before Rick died:

It does look like God is intending to take [Rick] Home, perhaps before our beloved Lord comes for His saints. And yes, he will go out in “style,” the same style he grew in while at GODTEL. Those were his most precious years, and as I see him gazing off in space, I know he’s remembering and wishing he could be healthy and spending more time serving the Lord there. But, like the rest of us, he also longs to be with Jesus in that perfect place, where there will be no more pain…God leads us through difficult trials sometimes, but the Bible says He will never leave us alone. We believe this and feel His presence many times during the day. Please pray for His peace for us.

Our daily prayers for Rick have now become prayers for peace and comfort for his family. He is at home in Heaven and no longer in need of prayers or any other thing.

Relocation Update

GODTEL continues to make progress on our Nacogdoches Relocation Project. We are nearing completion on a shop where ministry vehicles, including tractors, will be repaired and maintained.

The investment made to date including the land, the staff house, driveways, fences, workshops, carports, and storage sheds (also labor costs) totals approximately a half-million dollars!

We have $110,000 in savings for the relocation and need another $530,000 to advance to the next construction phase. This will allow us to build the men’s dorm which will also house the kitchen and laundry facilities. Once that is complete, we will move to the new property.  The sale of the old property will then enable us to build the final building which will be the women’s dorm and Christian Help Center (CHC) where we will continue to distribute clothing and household items to the needy.

Once again, GODTEL thanks you for all your donations towards the relocation of our Nacogdoches Mission.

Trains and Other Observations

I am happy to be back in the writer’s chair this month, and I want to sincerely thank those of you who contacted me at GODTEL to ask if I needed anything else for my new home. God has seen to it I have all that I need! I am all settled in and very comfortable at home  with my little boy, Sean, who turned three on October 26th. Our Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Livingston led the whole congregation in a Happy Birthday song for him that Sunday, and we felt such love from everyone there. We are so blessed. Thank you, Lord!

Our new home sits very near the train tracks, and not a train passes by that Sean doesn’t drop whatever he’s doing and run to the window. He peers excitedly through the blinds and into the distance where a small break in the trees reveals the train as it careens through our town. To me, the train was initially a novelty that soon evolved into a barely-noticed background noise. I didn’t really share in Sean’s excitement about the train. It was something that often cost me time in my already hectic morning routine.

It is inevitable that we will lose some of our innocence and child-like joy through the years, as we endure the pains and trials of living in this world. Adults are often wary, skeptical and jaded to the marvels around us; the curtain has been pulled back and the wonder is gone. We have seen it all before, and there’s nothing more to examine.

Thankfully, spending time with children can re-awaken our senses. I began to consider Sean’s perspective more carefully: everything around him is a source of wondrous knowledge and new experiences. Children have an inherent sense of discovery and humility; they know no other way to be.

Matthew 18:3 says, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” God exhorts us to seek to have the faith and humility of a child, who lacks pride, ambition, and conceit. In approaching God with child-like faith and humility, we will be able to go Home and enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

I try to remember this each day as I grow as a Christian, and as a mother. Prayer and faith help me to block out the stressors and problems of life and get back to enjoying the small wonders. Now, when I hear the train I call out to Sean, “The train is coming, do you hear it?” Then I hear his little feet pounding their way down the hall and I feel God smiling on us.

by Robin Nye

 

Forgiven Much, Loving Much

Robin, still trying to get organized at the house she is renting, is taking a break from writing the newsletter this month so you are hearing from Nancy once again. I know you will miss her humor and her particular way of looking at things, but she will be back at the keyboard next month.

Happy Birthday to Me!

September was an eventful month for our family with many birthdays to celebrate, not the least of which was mine—my 72nd to be exact. I had a wonderful week of celebrating with cards and gifts and visits from children and grandchildren. Jeremiah’s daughter, Karmin, found my stash of decorations and strung the birthday banner across one end of the dining room. She also found special napkins, plastic-ware, cups, and plates so she had great fun decorating. A trip to the store to get cake, candles, cards and some much-appreciated gifts for my kitchen completed her party preparations. When we finished celebrating and I looked around, it did look as though there had been quite a party! I did straighten up some but I left the Birthday banner up for almost two weeks before taking it down. My sincere thanks to everyone who remembered with cards, calls, visits, texts, and prayer. What a blessing to have such caring friends and family.

Jonathan’s Joy

Bro. June was invited to preach at the First Christian Church in Nacogdoches the last Sunday of August and to perform the baptism of one of our mission residents, Jonathan Moore. We greatly enjoyed our visit there and were honored that Jonathan asked for June to baptize him.

God used the ministry of all three of GODTEL’s mission locations to bring Jonathan to a saving knowledge of the Lord. From our point of view at the time, his residence at the Livingston mission was less than satisfactory. He was somewhat combative and “reluctant” to do his chores and abide by house rules. After several tries in Livingston, we told him that he needed to try our Lufkin or Nacogdoches shelters. That would get him away from the bad influences he had in Livingston.

At the Lufkin mission, Jonathan had an encounter with the Lord and realized that for years God had been calling him, only to meet with rejection. Jonathan had been blaming God for the harsh treatment he had endured growing up. He came to a place where he began to ask God to forgive all the people who had abused him, hurting him in so many ways. He asked God to forgive him for rejecting Him and invited Him to come into his life—and God did.

Shortly afterward, Jonathan relocated to the Nacogdoches mission and we have had the pleasure of discipling him there for many months. He is very joyful and his joy is contagious as he is always ready to share Jesus with anyone he comes into contact with.

The Daily Sentinel recently ran a front page article about Jonathan and the reason he performs his job as a sign holder in front of a Nacogdoches restaurant with such enthusiasm. They told about his very sad past but also included much about Jesus being the source of Jonathan’s new-found cheer.

He daily studies God’s Word and frequently brings us questions about various topics, so he is doing his part to grow. We would appreciate your prayers for Jonathan as he boldly proclaims the Gospel message to anyone who will listen.

Shipley Donutations Continue

The Nacogdoches Shipley Donuts has been supplying day-old donuts for the Nacogdoches mission. Although new owners recently began operating the shop, they are planning to continue donating the day-old pastries each morning. We greatly appreciate their kindness and generosity.

Following Christ

Two more of our Nacogdoches residents who have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ have obediently followed His example and command to be baptized. The pastor of New Hope Methodist Church where they have been attending on Sundays officiated. It is a wonderful blessing to have our residents accept the Lord, to watch them grow in the Lord, and to be a part of discipling them. Please remember Roy and Kaiza as you pray.

Visiting Fred

(and I don’t mean June’s brother)

The last Sunday of September, Bro. June and I drove to Fred, Texas (on Highway 92 between Spurger and Silsbee and almost due East of Warren) to be in services with Grace Bible Fellowship where Darrell Young is pastor. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful and we felt a kindred spirit with them. Bro. June spoke at the 11:00 a.m. service informing them about the Christian’s responsibility to help the poor and about GODTEL. They asked many good questions, showing they had been attentive, and expressed a desire to volunteer at the Livingston mission. We hope we blessed them as much as they blessed us.

The pastor’s son, Mark, is the pastor of Barnum First Baptist Church near Chester, Texas (East of Corrigan) and since Bro. June spoke there a couple of months ago, that congregation has prepared and served two of our evening meals. The food was fabulous and the fellowship was warm and joyful. Everyone is anticipating their return.

Substitute Preachers

Thanks to Coy Reese and Yancy Rodgers for filling in for Bro. June at the 10:00 a.m. services at our Livingston shelter’s Mission On The Hill while we were serving in other churches recently. Each one of these men did such a wonderful job presenting God’s Word; the congregation said we could leave again if we invited one of these men to be our substitute.

Nacogdoches Mission August Meals:

  • First Christian Church—Chef’s salad
  • Jennifer Leuschner—stuffed baked potatoes
  • Ali Schneider—bar-b-que chicken
  • New Hope Congregational Methodist Church—lasagna
  • Oak Grove Baptist Church—chicken enchiladas
  • Fredonia Hill Baptist Church—fried chicken
  • Lonestar Baptist Church—brisket (possibly the best ever)
  • Family and staff from the Hancock Advertising Agency—cheesy chicken chili
  • First Nazarene—chicken spaghetti

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and tummies. God bless you.

 by Nancy Gentry

GOD Days of Summer

Nacogdoches Relocation Project Update

The need to relocate our Nacogdoches mission to newer facilities becomes more and more evident with each passing day. The building’s wiring and plumbing is very old and in constant need of repairs which require man-hours and funds which could be expended elsewhere. Many people stay with us, and some of our older clients have great difficulty getting up and down the stairs. A one-story building would be much safer for all.

The three-story building, built in 1907, and located on Main Street in downtown Nacogdoches has housed the homeless shelter operated by GODTEL since 1977. It has been reroofed twice and repaired and repainted many times through the years. For several years now we have been planning to build more efficient structures just inside the west loop on the Douglas Highway and relocate mission operations to the 29 acres of land GODTEL owns there. Rather than spend money on repairs, we would much rather utilize those funds at our new location.

Our goal is to raise a total of 1.2 million dollars for the relocation project. If we could raise just half that amount, we could build one of the needed dorms and move operations to the new location. Then, we could sell the downtown property and build the remaining dorm.

Any funds that our readers, supporters, and community members contribute to GODTEL toward this goal will be sincerely appreciated and utilized in our mission to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the poor and homeless people of East Texas.

June Meals at the Nacogdoches Mission

GODTEL in Nacogdoches was served the following meals in June, donated by:

  • Nacogdoches First Christian Church—hamburgers, June 3
  • Fredonia Hill Baptist Church—casseroles, June 5
  • Ali Schneider, wife of the SFA Women’s Basketball Head Coach,—enchiladas, June 10
  • Lonestar Baptist Church—spaghetti, June 18
  • New Hope Congregational Methodist Church—pulled pork sandwiches, June 19
  • Oak Grove Baptist Church—lasagna, June 21
  • Jennifer Leuschner—chicken spaghetti, June 22
  • Fredonia Hill Baptist Church—lasagna, June 24
  • Family and staff from the Hancock Advertising Agency—BBQ pork sandwiches, June 24

Thank you all for the generous meals you provided to the Nacogdoches Mission! The delicious variety was thoroughly enjoyed by our residents and staff. These, and many others who are not often recognized, donate food and services regularly. We are blessed, humbled, and very, very, thankful.

“English Dave”

We recently received a letter from a former resident known affectionately to GODTEL as “English Dave,” due (as you might have guessed) to his British accent.

In his letter, he thanked Brother June and Nancy Gentry for all they had done for him and given him during his stay at the Livingston mission. “I enjoyed your jokes and the work I was able to help with,” his letter stated. Dave went on to say he always felt safe here, and enjoyed prayer times and the singing and services on Sundays: “You all work so hard for those less fortunate and I just want to send a prayer for you at GODTEL, and please keep up the hard work. You made me a better person and I love going to church now because of you. Thank you.”

Dave is now back at his home in Liverpool, England, and has a job as a caregiver in a nursing home. He enjoys his job very much.

He asked that we pray for his sister who recently gave birth to premature twin girls, one of whom is desperately ill. Our prayers go out to “English Dave,” his sister Tracy, and his twin baby nieces, Maddison and Grace (who is on life support) in Liverpool.

Prayer Requests

  • Louie Armstrong, our Bible Study Teacher, was added to a heart transplant waiting list on July 22, 2014. GODTEL asks for your prayers during this uncertain time, as he awaits news of an appropriate donor.
  • Rick Pensinger had a setback in his cancer battle this month: his white blood cell count dropped to 1.4, which his prescription medicine succeeded in building back up. He also battled an infection, increased pain levels, and an inability to eat. We are praying for Rick and his loving family, which takes care of him.
  • Dorothy Broadway, a long-time GODTEL supporter, has requested prayer for her family. She just buried her third daughter.  She has already lost two daughters, two brothers, and her husband in the last three years.  We earnestly pray that Dorothy will receive comfort, strength, and Heavenly guidance as she grieves for the loss of her loved ones.

by Robin Nye

All About Joe

Every once in a while, in our monthly newsletter, there is a write-up about a certain individual at one of our three GODTEL shelters. At times a person may become virtually unnoticed as he or she blends in, becoming part of GODTEL’s everyday scenery.

This month GODTEL is honoring our quiet Christian friend who is seen each day, sitting in front of our Livingston shelter, greeting visitors as they arrive with various needs. Bodie Joe Sager (Joe) a US Army Veteran, takes incoming calls on our shelter phone line and assists people bringing in donations. Joe makes sure our monthly newsletters are given to those who drive onto our parking lot countless times a day. He greets everyone in a pleasant friendly manner, and is helpful to all concerned. Joe is also in charge of keeping our parking lot clean, alerting our shelter manager when the mail arrives, and lending a helping hand wherever he is needed. Joe is very appreciated here at GODTEL.

While it takes several dedicated people to manage each GODTEL Mission, no position is more important than another. Thank you, Mr. Sager, for your daily assistance and dedication.

 by Pegi McCarthy

Thank You, Lord!

Blessings From God Through Faith

I am the Manager of the GODTEL Mission in Livingston and have had the great honor to be a part of watching how God works in and through His children.

Robin, Ms. Nancy’s assistant, is in the process of renting a house for herself and her 2-year-old son, Sean.  As we were talking one day, she made the statement, “I don’t know how I’ll afford to fill my house with the things I’m going to need.”  I said, “Robin, use the FAITH the Lord gave you when you became a Christian. Believe in Him from your heart and He will take care of you.  Make a list of the things you need and I’ll see what I can do from my end.”

A few days passed and then the Lord started to show Robin how He works.  Beds, couches, chairs, and more started arriving at the mission.  Things are still coming in every day.

The look on her face was priceless when she saw these items. She finally started to see how much God loves her and wants her to TRUST in Him so He can give her all she needs. Sometimes He even throws in things we want and that is awesome!

The Lord will take care of us if we put all our trust in Him and obey Him.  We are to always be thankful for everything, good or bad. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Ephesians 5:20).

Robin is learning how to be thankful for all things, and that in itself can be hard. But with God in her life, it should be a piece of cake!  (Well, for now a small piece of cake).  She’s still receiving the blessings and now has more trust and faith in God than she has ever had.

Thank you Lord, for showing how awesome you can be and letting Robin experience the wonderful feelings she is getting from all your LOVE!

I know this would not have been possible for me to accomplish, but as it says in Mark 10:27, “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God:  for with God all things are possible.”

Robin is still learning and growing, and is seeing how awesome God can be.  She doesn’t yet know why all this is happening in her life, but she does understand that through God things will continue to happen for her as long as she keeps trusting in Him and never stops exercising the faith she has from God in her.  In Romans 8:28 it says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

Thank you Lord, for letting me have a small part in all the plans you have for Robin and her son.

Your Humble Servant,

Benita Woodmansee

 

*Note from Robin*

 I was sitting at my desk, searching for the words to express how thankful I am for these blessings of both furnishings and love, when Benita stepped into the office.  She sat down and read this beautiful message to me.  Then, of course, the tears began to flow.

Later, as I worked on our newsletter,  God showed a scripture to me.  I had taken a short break, and began flipping through the pages of the Bible that sits next to me.  My eyes quickly caught the following:  “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God:  many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40: 1-3)

God has blessed my life in countless ways; He has brought me out of the pit and set my feet upon a rock!  He has provided for me, moving many generous people to donate items which are perfect for the house I had been waiting and praying for. God has given me a new beginning and peace in my heart.

He also put wonderful people like Ms. Benita in my life.  Benita has the most positive, hopeful spirit one could hope to encounter. (“Thank you, Lord!” is a phrase often spoken from her mouth with great exuberance, even as she stubs her toe or gets caught in a downpour.)  Seeing the look on her face and the twinkle in her eye as she presented me with the chairs, beds, and household items was the most priceless gift of all. 

More Gifts to our Mission:

Barnum First Baptist Church of Chester provided a mouthwatering dinner of pulled pork, cole slaw, biscuits, baked beans, cakes, and pies to our Livingston Mission on August 19.  Pastor Mark Young and members of his church came to Livingston and served our staff, residents and visitors with this delicious meal.  (Several weeks before they came, Brother June had been invited to their church to speak to the congregation about GODTEL.)

The Barnum Church members also provided GODTEL with toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, and other personal hygiene items necessary for keeping our residents clean, comfortable, and healthy during their time at GODTEL.

These gracious people who brought and served us this meal later called and told us how much fun they had, and said they enjoyed meeting our GODTEL family. And, they are making plans to come again soon.

We wish to express our gratitude to Barnum First Baptist Church members for the wonderful gifts of food, supplies, love and fellowship you brought to our Livingston Mission.

Relocation Project Update:

The need to relocate the Nacogdoches Mission has become necessary as our current downtown building requires repairs which are economically unfeasible. The investment of funds in a new facility will go much further in meeting the needs of the poor and homeless in Nacogdoches and surrounding areas. The Building Fund is slowly growing, and improvement at the new location is constant. Bro. June and his assistant, Michael Lahr, are currently in the process of closing in the new tractor-repair shop.  You are invited to come by 620 Jordan Street to take a tour, meet the staff, and view our progress.

GODTEL received several generous donations after last month’s article in the GODTEL Report, which described our goal to relocate the Mission. The donations toward the relocation project totaled $31,000!  Praise God!  We are so thankful for the support and we continue to pray as we move closer to creating a facility where our residents and staff can all live and work more efficiently, effectively, and comfortably.

Nacogdoches Mission July Meals:

  • First Christian Church—chili dogs
  • Jennifer Leuschner—spaghetti
  • Ali Schneider—goulash
  • New Hope Congregational Methodist Church—lasagna
  • Oak Grove Baptist Church—lasagna
  • Fredonia Hill Baptist Church—penne pasta
  • Lonestar Baptist Church—fried chicken
  • Family and staff from the Hancock Advertising Agency—taco salad

We are so thankful for all the generous and delicious meals provided by these and other churches, groups, and individuals. We are blessed to receive your meals and services.

 -by Robin Nye