Staff and volunteers from Samaritan’s Feet came to Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church on Russell Road Monday, April 6, in a joint mission.
Samaritan's Feet was conceived over 28 years ago in Lagos, Nigeria when a stranger from Wisconsin spoke to a young African boy. That boy received his first pair of shoes at the age of 9. The young boy, Emmanuel Ohonme, went on to compete in sports allowing him to eventually attend an institution of higher learning in America. Ohonme never forgot that stranger and in 2004, he decided to help impoverished children in Africa. Samaritan's Feet was formed. Samaritan's Feet is an international organization and the goal is to give 10 million pairs of shoes to 10 million children in 10 years. As of now, 750,000 people have been helped.
The group set up — with Rising Hope Ministry staff — a Bible Study room, waiting room, measuring and washing rooms and a shoe distribution room for the program. Hundreds of children with their families and babysitters arrived throughout the day to partake in the program.
In the Bible Study room, the story of the Last Supper was retold.
It was before the Passover supper that Jesus washed the feet of his 12 apostles. Jackie Pegram told the story and explained the traditions of the time of the Last Supper and the days that followed. Palms were distributed. Afterwards the families were taken downstairs and feet were measured. One by one each entered the washing room where volunteers were ready with clean foot baths. Feet were washed as shoes and socks were identified in the stockroom as the right match.
A prayer was said and a small cross given to each participant.
Outside, the mission church set up games for the children and the staff prepared food and offered beverages to all.