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This 'Cup' overflows

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | April 23, 2021 1:00 AM

SPIRIT LAKE — A homeless man who arrived in Spirit Lake barefoot, wearing ripped, ragged jeans, with no money and no food, left a much richer man.

“Every once in a while God brings us people,” said Amy Privitt, executive director of Cup of Grace Ministries.

It started with a welfare call about a barefoot man walking southbound on Highway 41 on a chilly late Tuesday afternoon, Spirit Lake police officer Kevin Ward responded.

The man was apprehensive as Ward approached to check on him and declined offers of help.

Ward drove away, but he thought he could do more, so he reached out to Privitt.

“Would you feed him?” He asked.

Sure, Privitt said.

Ward returned and explained to the man there was help available nearby. He agreed to go with Ward, who said police don’t often run into such situations, but when they do, they give "110 percent” to make sure that person is looked after.

Privitt sat down to speak with the man, estimated to be in his 40s. He was nice, she said, but hesitant to accept much help.

But Privitt persisted and arranged for him to spend the night at the Moose Inn in Spirit Lake. The ministry also provided the man with shoes and clothes and she asked if he had a dream come true, what would he like?

“I would love a bus ticket to Michigan,” he answered.

Done.

Cup of Grace bought him one, and Privitt’s husband even drove the man to the bus station in Spokane on Wednesday. Privitt even gave the man some cash so he would have money to buy food.

Privitt has remained in communication with the man and he told her the 2,000-mile trip, scheduled to take a few day has been going well.

“He was very appreciative,” she said.

The four-year-old Christian ministry sponsors free meals at the community center on Tuesdays, provides clothes for children, diapers for infants, gift cards for adults, and makes “Buddy Bags” with blankets, books and stuff animals for police to give to children.

Privitt said they can’t afford to do that for everyone, as they have limited funds, but when circumstance come up, they do all they can.

“God willing, he will stay on the bus and get to his destination,” she said. “Hopefully, he has someone there."