Nerd Herd Service Update.

Last month we were provided with several opportunities to serve those in need. I want to first of all thank Pat, Pam, Jimmy, Nick and Jan for connecting us with some fantastic organizations that are positively impacting the people within their respective communities.

I’d like to highlight several of these organizations over the next few blogs that have really hit home for me.

D&B Soup Kitchen

The first night we arrived in Cincinnati my cousin Pat met our entire family downtown. He had connected us into a Tuesday dinner that his church puts together for those without in the community.

Now in Washington D.C. we know of several great non-profits, So Others Might Eat and A Wider Circle, to name a few. We witnessed many similarities that Tuesday night, but most notably a deep desire from each and every volunteer to look someone in the eye, and care for them.

Our family of 5 was presented with the opportunity to set the tables for the 192 guests that would be arriving that evening. As we were instructed on how to set out the more than a thousand pieces of dinnerware I could see Matty and Josiah getting a bit overwhelmed. With Tobias strapped to my back, Bex and I assigned very specific, and high level, jobs to each of the boys.

Matty was to place the fork on the left of the plate and Josiah would set the spoon on the right. As the boys scurried around each table working to complete their tasks before guests started pouring into the dining hall, Bex reminded them of our purpose there that night.

About half way through setting the 24 tables Matty walked back towards us. In his quietest voice, he stated “I just prayed for the man who will eat dinner with that fork.”

God is so good.


J&B Soup KitchenI loved how this soup kitchen cared for almost 200 attendees by providing both volunteers and dinner guests alike with a name tag. As simple as that sounds, I found it incredibly refreshing to be able to greet each person by name, dish them up a healthy meal, and then trade smiles before they moved on to the dessert table.

This was certainly one of my favorite service opportunities we have done so far and for our entire family to be able to work together to accomplish the mission, made it that much sweeter.

In light of the goals blog that Bex posted last week I’d like to elaborate a bit further on a few items that I would personally like to check off over this next year+.

Per Year: Feed 5,000 people (192 in Cincy plus 23 goodie bags given away so far).

Per Quarter: Accountability check-in calls with our beLOVE partners.

Per Month: Come in at/under budget.

Per Week: Shower multiple times…

Per Day: Make each of our sons laugh out loud.

While the weekly and monthly goals are definitely a work in progress I am going to try my best to get us back on track with more consistent blog write-ups and pictures. Will be back in touch next week with my post about serving at Habitat for Humanity.


3 thoughts on “Nerd Herd Service Update.

  1. Donald Straka

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the update. I really appreciated your note about name tags and the sweet testimony of Matty praying for the person who would eat with that fork. Just this morning I was reading through Gal 2 and came across Paul saying, “Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do” (Gal 2:10). I was struck by Paul’s love for the poor and prayed that the Lord would give me a heart that is eager to love the poor. I can feel that I need to grow in this area.

    Don Straka

  2. Daniel


    Daniel Haverkos Sent from my iPhone 301-466-6719


  3. Jacque Straka

    We love you guys. Oh that the Lord would continue to widen and stir and shape Matty’s heart! Praising Jesus tonight and going to bed with a smile thinking about and loving you all.

    Love, Jacque

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