Port Angeles Adventist Church Offers Hot Meals of Hope

Jenny entered the world of drugs, alcohol and homelessness after being introduced to marijuana as a young child.

Hopelessness ruled her life for more than 30 years. She slept on the streets and back alleyways of Port Angeles for nine years, yet with the help of four loving churches, Jenny’s life was reclaimed for God. 

On Feb. 23, 2023, Jenny celebrated five years of sobriety with those on the streets and organizations established to help those in addiction.

Port Angeles Seventh-day Adventist Church brought their PAHotmeals trailer to the event in order to feed more than 80 people and celebrate with Jenny what God is doing in her life. Jenny now works for Reflections, a local drug counseling agency, helping other addicts find freedom from drugs.  

Jenny also volunteers and supports the work of PAHotmeals in feeding hot soup and grilled sandwiches in the evenings to the homeless.

Renie Thayer, a longtime member of Port Angeles Church, is thrilled with this very local and meaningful ministry. As the PAHotmeals director, she and her husband Larry often serve at the trailer. 

“PAHotmeals is a fantastic way to be able to reach out to those that are experiencing hopelessness,” said Thayer.

After much prayer, it was decided that PAHotmeals’s motto would be “Casting Value – Creating Friends." It’s exciting to see the volunteer base grow with more than 30 volunteers from within the church as well as incorporating other Christians from the community.

Much of the inspiration for this ministry came from Connie McAlister, who was also homeless and addicted on the streets of Port Angeles.

She was introduced to Jesus when one of the people she was selling drugs to gave her Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White. She read that little book and went back to her patron to ask who wrote it. 

She was told that it comes from the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Today, McAlister is Port Angeles' community service director and works closely with the homeless and community agencies to help those who are willing to receive treatment.  

It is so important to remember that all people, no matter their condition or addictions, matter to God. Each person is served as if the service were for Jesus.

PAHotmeals has distributed more than 1,000 meals in the last five months and is growing. As of now, the church serves meals two nights a week and as the volunteer base grows, the church hopes to continue to add new nights to its feeding program. 

Port Angeles Church is developing trusting relationships with those on the streets and connecting them to the proper agencies who can assist their journey into freedom from drugs and homelessness.

Please feel free to support this growing and meaningful ministry at PAHotmeals.org.

Featured in: May/June 2023