Energion at Reimagine Brownsville

table at reimagine
… and we need a bigger table!

I had the great joy and privilege today to be part of Reimagine Brownsville, a ministry of Doers of the Word Ministries. Here’s a portion of the description:

Reimagine Brownsville (a project of Doers of the Word Ministry, a 501c3 organization) is unique in its attempt to meet not only the short-term needs of our guests but also in its attention to meet their long-term goals of assistance with job searching, housing and health-related issues. Through a focused effort to build personal relationships between a community and its caregivers and service providers, Reimagine Brownsville provides exposure to available resources and support networks that are instrumental in encouraging residents to become participatory in making changes that are beneficial to themselves and to their community.

You can read the entire description here.

I have to confess that I was uncertain whether our participation as a publisher would actually be helpful and would work well. Here we are lined up with programs providing for various needs from food and shelter to health care (screenings, etc.), and we were planning to give away books. What would the result be?

The answer is that many people stopped by and were excited at the opportunity. We ran out of most of the titles we had. We started our selection of books with some items that we had a slight overstock on, and then added some books that were very slightly damaged and could not be sold new, but were still in excellent shape. Then we provided some brand new books that we thought were most appropriate for the occasion, and also brought some Bibles to give away. We don’t publish Bibles, but it seemed that we would still be a good organization to provide those. At the event itself we received a donation of used books and we were able to give away almost all of those as well.

How did people respond? They shopped for books. Someone had suggested to me in conversation before the event that people might just take a book because it was free, not really caring what it was. That was not the case at all. People discussed the books with me just as they would if they were buying them. I had a number of great conversations. Things were busy, so I couldn’t spend as much time as I might like with each person, but to the extent I could, I did.

The program itself was efficiently run, with volunteers covering everything. You don’t get this good of service at a higher end department store. The volunteers were ready to help out and knew what they were doing. I could see brisk and efficient service going on all around me.

I’d particularly like to commend the representative of the Escambia County Sheriff’s department, whose name I unfortunately failed to write down. He demonstrated how to be helpful, proactive, and tactful, while accomplishing his mission of assuring safety and reasonable order. He was a credit to his department.

We did learn a few things. We need more Bibles next time. We gave out our entire supply in about 20 minutes. We’ll try to have more of those. We also will need more books on prayer and discipleship, and we’ll plan to bring more of those in the future. Oh, and we need a bigger table!

And of course that tells you what the bottom line is: We’ll be back. Reimagine is a good ministry, and we are proud and excited to have been a part of it.

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