Laundry Love Fall Update

Written by Carly O’Connor

Laundry Love is coming up on its eighth month running and our group is so excited about what God is producing in the community through the event. We have found that providing the quarters is just a bridge that allows us to holistically care and love people within the laundromat just as much as they get to care and love us. Here are some specific things we’ve witnessed the last few months…

  • Relationships. The number one fruit that’s been coming from Laundry Love. Every month we have the same people showing up at the laundromat ready with their washers loaded before we even walk in. It’s something that the laundromat goers orchestrate their life around and a time we all look forward to so that we can catch up on each others lives.
  • Some of us who run LL have been able to meet up with our friends from the laundromat throughout the month and invest in their lives beyond the Laundry Love event. Two people from our group went to a mother’s sons birthday party and also met up with the mother to simply get to know eachother.
  • Someone in our group was able to help one of the ladies from the laundromat move out of her house. In return she donated to Laundry Love an entire box of blankets, food, cleaning supplies etc. We were able to give those out last month and everyone loved it.
  • Every time before we start the LL event our team prays together for the night. Last month was so beautiful because four people- one who regularly comes to get their clothes washed and three who are struggling with homelessness- came over, held hands and every one of us said a prayer for the night. This moment was the most perfect picture of unity between cultural and social economic groups and God’s kingdom being made known in the parking lot of Launderland. After we said ‘Amen’ every person grabbed boxes and bags to bring inside the laundromat like one giant team. Our Anthem group wasn’t the only one serving anymore, but the people in the laundromat became a part of serving that night just as much as us.
  • One man whose been such a light to the laundromat since the beginning asked for a bible and the next month came back expressing how hard it was to understand the books we told him to read. So he has asked some of us to meet at the laundromat throughout the month to explain the Bible to him. We are excited to get to teach him the Scriptures purpose and even the basic context of books within the Bible so he can learn how to read and discern it on his own.
  • What we’ve also found is that our Laundry Love team functions as a micro-church during these nights. Every one of us has certain giftings, abilities, and worldviews that shape how the night functions. Some of us are great with kids- so they run around outside and color with the kids. Some of us love providing the quarters and being in charge of the finances and basic practical needs of the night. Some of us love having deep conversations with the people who come in and really investing in them by listening or offering prayer. But overall we work together and every one of us finds a place that fits our giftings and allows the Laundry Love event to thrive.

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing people who would never normally love each other…actually love each other. Laundry Love opens up the community to mix different cultures, economic statuses, and separate religions- giving people the opportunity to make the most unlikely of friends. This so perfectly reflects what I think Christ was longing for when he walked on earth. He was closing the gaps between races and cultures that the world was incapable of changing itself. That is our prayer for Laundry Love, that his Spirit would open up all of our eyes to see brothers and sisters in each person we meet. Here’s an amazing quote to close,

“The wider your inner community becomes, the more easily you will recognize your brothers and sisters in the strangers around you.” -Henri Nouwen