Darrel and Gail Voth

Directors of Mobilization, Beautiful Feet Missionary Training and Sending, Choctaw, Oklahoma


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Oh Joe’s, so much more than coffee

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The coffee shop, Joe’s Addiction is one the hardest places to describe. It is a place where you can get a bottomless Joe, an endless cup of tea and/or coffee, and spend the day. For $2.00, one can get air conditioning, conversation and maybe a game of SkipBo. Of course, there is the free coffee, for as long as it lasts, one pot per shift and if you’re hungry someone will make you a sandwich, if you sweep up or do the dishes. If you need a new shirt or pair of pants, around the corner, you can find it at the free store. Know that you are welcome. It doesn’t matter if you are homeless living in a tent, just out of prison, waiting until Monday when the power should be restored to your home, a gang member trying to figure out how to get out of the gang alive, a vet with PTSD, a person burned out on too many drugs or a high school student doing tornado relief work. But know we hold everyone to the same code of conduct: “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” So if you’re hot and frustrated because you’ve been outside all day and you get upset with someone, know that you’ll be asked to take a walk and come back when you “cooled off.”

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If you choose, we hold a service on Sunday at 10:30, where we worship King Jesus, thanking him for what he has freed us from. There is a time for the community to share our prouds and sorrys: the ways we see ourselves or others following Jesus or a time to ask the community for forgiveness. We then learn more about who and what our community is supposed to look like.

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It is not an easy place to work. People are hungry: for food and relationship. They are thirsty for acceptance no matter how they smell or if they are in touch with reality. We as a family are spending between 15-20 hours a week in this community. We have only been here about three weeks and we have seen so many things that shows growth, a older man who used to known as a grumpy old man who was always angry, ask forgiveness during prouds and sorrys. He is working on relationships: sharing his feelings and showing compassion to others. Homeless people sharing a meal with those who have less than them. There have also been many hardships: emotional breakdowns, suicide attempts, battles lost with drugs and alcohol. Each victory celebrated and each hardship met with grace. Following the code of conduct: Love your neighbor as yourself and do to others as you would have them do to you.

I am learning so much from this community and feel very blessed to be a part of it.


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Reflections on mass

Last fall, I spent a weekend at an abbey, with the purpose of spending some one-on-one time with Jesus. It was a wonderful experience, one I hope to repeat from time-to-time.
The church at the abbey is lit primarily by its high windows, so it feels a bit dark and cavernous. Incense is offered during mass – it floats upward – patiently, silently filling the entire church. As mass continues, you soon notice sunlight streaming all the way down to the floor – our offerings in the darkness revealing the light from above – light which was always there, but previously unnoticed. Following the photo is what I wrote while there at the abbey.
The church at Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey
Offerings of prayers and psalms are not our own, but a reiteration of the words of almighty God, given to His children. What can we offer as a sacrifice to Almighty, Eternal, Creator?
“I detest your celebrations and festivals, the stench of your sacrifices fills my nostrils. What do I want from you, but a broken spirit and a heart of contrition. I have shown you what is good, to practice justice, to love mercy, to walk humbly with me, visiting widows and orphans in their state of neediness, offering sanctuary to the stranger and renewal to the weary.”
“The oblation which we offer up to be accepted by God is ourselves.”
Truly, we have nothing to offer. We have only what we are, endowed by the Creator. We are who we are through the grace of the crucified King. He offers to us. Our posture can be nothing but the humility of profound gratitude.
We bow, kneel and prostrate ourselves in body and spirit, and Jesus – our brother – bids us rise, invites us to join Him in His work. As His fragrance fills our nostrils, we begin to see the invisible; the light filling the world around us is made tangible through our actions – our reactions – for anyone to now see and understand.


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Moving day

Lily's sidewalk chalk statement in front of our Newton house.

“Lily Voth lived here.”

It was crazy.

We’ve been preparing to move for months – it’s not like it was a surprise, there were just so many things that were outside of our control. I think that’s good though. We knew that all we could do was prepare as best we could and trust God for the rest. That’s not a comfortable place to be, but it’s a good place. It’s been a very emotional process, too, doing so many “last” things and leaving so much of who and what we know and love. But as has been the case, God showed His love to us through the community of people we have with us – so much love and generosity.

ready to load!

The morning itself had its own challenges – I took a wrong turn to the rental place and had faulty equipment that they had to trade out and wound up an hour late to my own move! But we had a bunch of friends who emptied the house onto the front lawn and were ready for me when I showed up 🙂  Some finished up inside and cleaned while others began loading the moving van. Gail and Lily loaded up the Suburban with our dog, cleaning essentials and whatever else would fit and left for Oklahoma in the morning to get the house at Beautiful Feet ready for us to unload.

Del, Tina, Jim

Our friends Doug, Tina and Jim really took charge of loading and did amazingly well fitting our household into a 16′ truck!

Doug

Doug endured the heat and cramped conditions to pack the truck high and tight!

By lunchtime, we were nearly done! Another friend sprung for pizza and drinks.

Jude vs. butter

Jude decided to open the garlic butter sauce all by himself.

Yet another friend let us load up the back of his truck with things which needed to be disposed.

Finally, we got to where there was nothing left for people to do. Friends began to leave with hugs and thank-yous until it was just me, my boys and my dad. We loaded my pickup onto the tow dolly behind the moving van, looked at the house we would never live in again and pulled away. The long-awaited dream felt strange as it became reality.

The boys and I on the road

I enjoyed the road trip with my boys 🙂

After another wrong turn, we grabbed a bite to eat and met up with our Beautiful Feet family to unload.

unloading

The truck emptied almost as quickly as the house filled up 😉

Lily tags her turf with chalk

“Lily’s rock”

We are moved in and fairly settled. The kitchen is almost finished, so we hope to be able to move into that soon and then we’ll be ready to begin painting. We could never have done this without the support of our friends. Thank you all.