Every Thursday night, Chris and Bob Steger, the founders of Walking Together, can be found on the corner of 5th and Greenfield in Wilmington serving the homeless and hungry. Every. Thursday. Night. Even on Thanksgiving.
When the weather permits, they set up their tables, chairs and food in the parking lot of The Lord’s Church which resides at the busy intersection just blocks away from Greenfield Park. When the weather doesn’t allow them to be outside, the group meets inside the church’s warehouse.
But Walking Together didn’t always serve their meals to the homeless nor did they use this busy street corner. Chris Steger explained that they first began serving meals at Greenfield Park three years ago to youth groups who travelled from as far away as Virginia to work with Vigilant Hope’s Port-City Project during the summer. These were youth groups much like the one serving the night I attended to get this story.
Steger reminisced that after they served the youth groups each week they realized there were homeless people at the park, so they began giving them the food left over from the meal. Each week as they shared their food, the number of homeless coming to the park grew. That’s when the Stegers realized the great need, and they began intentionally cooking more food to give away.
But they also realized the need to serve food to the homeless every week. The youth groups they fed only came three weeks out of the summer, but Walking Together now feeds the hungry year around. And they have not missed a Thursday in three years.
However, their meals were drawing such a big crowd that Walking Together was banned from feeding the homeless in Greenfield Park. That’s when they partnered with The Lord’s Church’s who gladly shared their parking lot and warehouse.
Walking Together is an example of the Body of Christ, churches from different denominations, working together. Myrtle Grove Presbyterian Church, Warner Temple, Lifepoint, and The Lord’s Church are churches represented by believers who supply the food and man-power for this ministry.
“It’s all about building relationships,” said Bob Steger. And by watching the conversations around the tables filled by both the servers and those being served, I could tell that he meant what he said. Those who came to get a hot meal were given much more.
As Chris Steger has been told by many who appreciate the quality meals she serves, “You cook with love.”
It is clear that on Thursday nights on this corner in Wilmington, love is given.