“If you love me, feed my sheep”

Linda Quick was out of work back in 2003 when former board member, Eileen Douglass, told her about Open Door Ministries.  Linda is a long-standing member of Temple Memorial Baptist Church, and has always been very involved in ministry there.  Linda has a heart for serving others.  So, she joined the staff of Open Door Ministries 17 years ago in November.

Linda likes to say that “You never feed without a message.”  And that’s exactly what she has done for all these years in the Father’s Table.  She has seen so many faces —both volunteers and guests alike.  Linda is quick to note that “I could be in their seat next week.”  She is also motivated by the scripture in which Christ says, “If you love me, feed my sheep.”  Linda has been faithful to this calling and says her love for the guests at the shelter motivates her. 

The reality of the hardship in the community hits home often.  On one instance a 14-year old brought two young children, one a baby, to the Father’s Table.  The rule stated that children under 18 years of age could not come without an adult.  It turns out that the 14-year old was the “adult,” trying to find food for the baby who was hungry.  This young person had walked all the way to the shelter.  Linda was greatly moved by this story because “hunger is real.”  She says they go through enough on the outside, and when they come to the Father’s Table, she just wants to show love.  In fact, she emphasizes that “love is colorblind.”

Sometimes Linda must be firm.  There are definite rules in place, such as no profanity.  Respect is always demonstrated.  She noted that the police have never been called while she’s been serving at Open Door.  Linda simply treats others the way she wants to be treated.

The relationships Linda builds last.  She noted that “They get better, and still stop by and report good things.  They tell me ‘You encouraged me when I wanted to give up.’”  She has watched children grow up over the years. 

Linda’s loves to share how God provides.  Once when the power went out, the only thing to be served was sandwiches, and the Father’s Table ran out of bread.  There was a knock on the door, and someone “happened” to be delivering bread. Linda wasn’t surprised—she expects God to show up, and is happy to share his goodness with a smile and a warm heart as she continues to serve in the Father’s Table year after year.