“We try to go into the communities,” added Ann Beard, whose husband Ron is coordinator for the Jacksonville project. “And we usually get very, very positive response.”
Though sometimes their name badges evoke teasing.
“We wear them everywhere we go, and people will say, 'You don't look like a man to me,'” she laughed, as Olsen joined in.
Through their outreach, the women said, the group works hard to model Christ's love.
“We strive to show the love of Christ, as he washed the disciples feet, as he ministered to the lepers, to the hungry, to those who are ill … these are the ways we try to show Christ's love, and then we be able to share the story of salvation through what we do,” Olsen said.
Beard confided that the women feel that they “get so blessed as we serve, as we minister out.
“We just talk to people on the street, and (are told), 'You are such a blessing to us.' But we are so blessed – I can't even express what it means for us to be able to come and serve. It's just awesome,” she said.
The biggest blessing, though, is watching two diverse groups of people form the kind of strong bonds usually seen among family members in a short period of time.
“We consider ourselves family, and we call ourselves the family of God,” Beard said. “All these people are our friends … we just go in and love the people we've met. It's a very rewarding experience.”
There is a precious spirit TBM members exemplify, Faulkner added.
“A gentle, sweet spirit of these men and women, (who are) 74-86 years of age, doing this work …working so hard together, and (showing) that unity,” he said.
“We're blessed here to see it in place, working daily, is just such a blessing. You talk about getting the hugs, seeing the smiles, hearing the love and working 8 in the morning to 4:30 every day, giving of their time,” he added. “Why? Because they love God. … They are truly mentors.”