In the Beginning ...
Susan Remembers ...
This month (December 2023), Susan, OIM's founder, came across a drawing that she has shared with us - a vision the Lord gave her when she was at OIM many years ago.
She notes that staff at the time groaned when she shared it. It seemed fitting that OIM should offer some hands-on care.
She pulled out a basin and a towel and washed the feet of her staff. She instructed them to do the same to any who came. This became a very popular feature of the (then) drop-in; over time, Susan trained volunteers to look out for foot care issues that she and volunteer nurses could address.
Just before she left OIM to head to Calgary, a Street Friend noted, "Susan, we've never seen anyone wash your feet". It was true. The Friends sat her in a big rocking chair, soaked her feet in a basin of water and one-by-one, washed her feet. She felt it was a Holy time and God was close by.
We are closing out on a milestone anniversary - 35 years since Susan and Katrine began offering hope and practical care to those who call the streets their home. Foot care remains a big part of OIM's culture. Now, instead of washing feet, we work on keeping them warm and comfortable. Signature essentials in OIM's Street Outreach wagons are socks - lots and lots of socks. In 2023 we will have handed out in access of 5,000 pairs. Susan's vision lives on.