Blessed Portion Update for 10-13-17
Psalms 40:1-3 "I waited patiently for the Lord ; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him."
Thankful to the Greek Orthodox church ladies who made and brought chicken and rice, bread sticks, salad, cole slaw, potato salad and cookies for tonight's meal. We had A LOT of new people and yet we had just enough food!! THANK YOU Greek Ladies!!!
Tonight we met a man new to being outside, and was able to get him some much needed items. Quiet spoken man, VERY appreciative for what he was given and so nice. We talked for a few minutes about his situation and where he thought the direction of his life is going possibly, and the options available in our city. At that moment he wasn't wanting to go into a shelter, but wanted to think about it and that is ok. Most think that especially for those who are new to the streets they would want in right away somewhere, but many do not. So we tell them that we will back next week, where there are others who feed and hopefully see them again, and that they rethink being outside. Also tonight prayed for a couple who we are heartbroken for because their baby daughter was still born and they had to bury her today. Sometimes people on the streets can have alot of chaos between them, but when there is a real heartbreaking issue they come together--and tonight everyone gathered around them offering words of encouragement, thoughts and we prayed for them. Cannot imagine what they are going through, but we know that we and others will continue to come around them and love them.
We gave away all our socks, most of the underwear, lots of shoes, sleeping bags, blankets, snack bags, candles, lots of hoodies and we are thankful that somehow we continue to receive donations that we need and or the finances to purchase what we need. We were able to hit the Salvation Army 50% off sale and purchased coats, thick blankets and a few sleeping bags so thanks everyone!
We finished our night by visiting with a friend who truly needs prayers. We have known him from the beginning of this ministry and have seen several seasons of his life. Times of pure depression, hopelessness and seasons of sobriety and feeling as though he was going to make it. For the last few weeks we have back in contact with him and tonight was harder than last week. Sitting next to him in his SMALL area to which you have to practically crawl into, he talked about his life. How he cannot believe how far his addiction has taken him to the bottom. How that he cannot understand why he just cant break the cycle and get out of his situation. He shared his vision for what he wants to do to help others....talking to high schoolers about what NOT to do and things he feels he can share to help. As we sat there talking looking at his very few items....a small book bag, a dollar bill, a cigarette pack, a lighter, a snack bag and water it was almost too much to handle. He talked about how skinny he is, and how he can feel the bones on his back protruding out and his health overall. We talked also about how God loves him even though he doesn't even love himself right now. How that we love him and believe in him even though he doesn't believe in himself. We talked about how that just sitting and thinking over and over again about your situation isn't going to get you out of it...how you've got to make a move. For him were praying that move happens soon because he wont be with us much longer if he doesn't. When we said goodbye he told us to stay safe out on the streets and he loved us.... and oh our hearts sunk!!
As the verse above states God does pull us from our slimy pits if we allow him and that's what we shared tonight. How God can remove us from our pits and how we are to tell others about it. To share what God has done for us --when it seemed completely hopefulness and God came in and rescued us. How that in those moments we are overcome with thankfulness and gratitude that it changes our hearts, our words and our actions.....and we can tell others how good God is.
Please do not just see people who are without a home as just "Homeless"...."Addicts"......"Losers"........"Not worth it"......."People who just want a hand out"...... There are MANY people in our city who are broken, hopeless, full of depression, need medicine for chemical imbalances, men who have been abused sexually and don't know how to get over it, women who have no self esteem so they take whatever is available to them, men and women who have not had a structured environment, and many who have their guard up because for them everyone has abandoned and left them. There are those who need to just make that decisions to move forward and take what help is out there and why they do not I don't know. However I can tell you many are out there who do not enjoy sleeping outside, or behind a building, not being able to find a place to shower, BUT the darkness that surrounds them over takes the rational thinking at times and its a horrible cycle.
What I do know is that Fort Wayne is a mission field and for those who don't see it I pray you do. I pray that we as churches, leaders, every day citizens can look around and offer our hearts to help. That we can offer our ears to listen, our lips to encourage and pray, that we would engage with those who feel they are not worth it. Does it happen in a day that one takes the help offered? Sometimes yes...like with our friend who has been in a shelter for a few months, but others no. Sometimes it takes many visits, many conversations to even start the process of thinking of getting off the streets, and sometimes it takes years....but its worth it. Its worth it when you see people come to help you on a Friday who once were under a bridge and now have their own place and ride their bike miles to come and help. Its worth it when a man who once was at the Mission now has his own place and makes two pots of stew to feed because you fed him before. Its worth it when you see a woman who loves Jesus and radiates his love because someone took the time to share with her that she is worthy of Gods love, and now she hangs around desiring to help you each week and offers to look after new people on the street.
Everyone....we are totally in awe of the goodness of Jesus Christ , we are totally in awe of how the body of Christ can work together to accomplish much. We are totally in awe of the faithfulness of God and how he provides for this ministry and for those we serve. We lastly are BETTER PEOPLE FOR DOING THIS MINISTRY!!! So thank you for helping us, thank you for your giving, for your prayers, for READING THESE LONG POSTS :) and for loving Jesus because others are seeing Jesus through your generosity