Eight-year old asks Molalla Nazarene Church members to help him feed homeless people

SANDY STOREY - Edward Kimmel.Most people, especially children, at this time of year are thinking and dreaming about what Santa Claus is going to bring them instead of giving to others who might be less fortunate. But there are some, as evidenced by Molalla's eight-year old Edward Kimmel, who decide to do things for others. He and his family are members of Molalla Nazarene Church.

Just three weeks ago, Edward approached Mike Tungate, and told him that he "wanted to feed people." Tungate got together with the Assistant Pastor Ryan Barker and they began to plan. When Tungate asked Edward how many people he'd like to feed, Edward said "two." That total quickly jumped to 60, Tungate said.

And voila, the project was on. Barker previously worked for Portland Central Nazarene Church, and worked it out with that church's Senior Pastor Matt Huff to house the dinner. Then Barker and Tungate began planning Edward's dinner.

"That totally put it into perspective for me. He really wants to serve," Tungate said. "He also knew exactly who to approach to get something done," said Tungate.

Edward's mom, Lindsay Kimmel, told the Pioneer that Edward likes to do things for others. For example, recently he got a medal for knowing his Bible verses. He was proud and pleased, but his friend was upset and crying because she didn't get one. So Edward gave her his medal.

The family also looks at Christmas as a time to help others, said Lindsay. Every year they get a catalogue from Compassion International. Their parents give Edward and his sister money to pick gifts for others, she adds. "It's a family tradition, and I think that may be where he got the idea."

Edward told the Pioneer that the idea came to him about five weeks ago when he broke his nose "roughhousing and the light went off in his brain. I was running around and it [my nose] didn't bleed much. The Compassion catalogue was the other half that caused the light to basically overriding my brain. Sort of telling me go help and do what I needed to do," he said.

"Then I went up to Uncle Mike and asked if we could be his help in the kitchen," Edward said.

When he found out about the dinner, he had a huge grin on his face, Lindsay said. However, she notes, "there's an impish quality to him and he can be mischievous. He's certainly not an introvert."

Tungate and his wife have a catering service called Bronc Buster's Barbeque. He's no stranger to helping people; he frequently helps the homeless and works with the Wounded Warrior Project. His wife and children also are helping with the dinner too.

They held the dinner on Dec. 16 at the Portland church, which also is working with the homeless. That church has joined with several other religions and sects, for dinners and are in the process of building tiny homes to help people get off the streets. The church is in the process of building individual pods for single homeless people. It's called Agape Village. Agape is Greek for love.

Tungate started smoking the meats, ham and turkey, on Dec. 14. The next day, along with Edward and his family and several others started prepping food for the "early Christmas dinner" for Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. They made other appropriate dishes such as mashed potatoes, stuffing and green beans. Tungate also ordered 10 pies, apple and pecan, from Kelsey West, a culinary graduate who said she'd make the pies.

Others from the church that planned to help on Saturday and Sunday beside Edward and his family, are Missy Miller, Chelle Watt and Lyle Edwards and Barker.

"The little ones, led by Edward, planned to lead the prayer for the food and thank all the people for coming. I want it to be Edward's moment. I want him to shine," Tungate said. "Like Edward, I want these people to know that people love them. I want to reach out and tell them that people love them and people thinking about them."

"I'm going to talk with the people and tell them I'm praying for them," Edward said. "I'm going to tell them not to disobey Jesus and follow the 10 Commandments and tell them God is watching over them and will help them. I'm really excited for the weekend," he said a few days before the dinner.

Carol Rosen
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