No Where To Run

Most days at our outreach center we are filled with people, churches and organizations walking through our doors and asking for some type of help. It gives all of us such a great opportunity to witness the awesome Hand of God working through us to feed and meet the needs of these groups. I had an opportunity to reflect today with a man who came in all bent over, limping and had not had a bath in a few weeks and I knew it was going to be one of those moments where he was going to ask for the moon. As he limped over to the table where I was sitting eating a large baked rotisserie chicken and sweet potato, I felt guilty for even having this food on my table. Just as he began to sit down one of our great volunteers (Janice) brought him a glass of water, she asked him if he needed anything else and he replied “no”. As we sat there it was quiet for a few minutes as I waited for him to ask for the moon. Little did I know he was not there for the moon, as we sat there he began telling me of his past 5 years. He told me he and his wife use to live right up the street from the outreach center and they would come from time to time to get food from us but were not regular visitors. They only used the center for emergencies. I asked him how they were doing now and he said his wife died 3 years ago from cancer and he went into a deep depression and lost everything. (it is sad on my part that I did not know him well enough to be there for him when his wife died. This just lets us know we need to spend more time in our own community rather than outside of it.) He has been living in his car for the last two years.  Again, it was quiet between us and I finally asked him what we could do for him, he said, “do you by any chance have a pair of shoes size 11?”. I am sure that I had the most lost look on my face knowing he was going to ask me for the moon but managed to come to grips that all he asked me for was a pair of shoes. Now you have to understand, we are always being asked for help on many levels but never in all my years of working the streets have I ever just been asked for a pair of shoes and nothing else. One of our young ladies came into the Cafe’ area and I asked her if we had a pair of shoes for this man. She proceeded to go to our inventory and sure enough there was a new pair of shoes that fit him perfectly. As he took off his shoes with no socks I could see the large blisters on the bottom of his feet. I asked him if he would like for me to dress them but he said he would take care of it when he got to his place of rest. I wish each of you could have seen his face when she brought him those shoes. It was like we handed him a million dollars. Now I know some of you are asking if I checked to see if he needed anything else and the answer is yes. I asked if he had had anything to eat and he said no but if we had something to spare that would be wonderful. I proceeded to fix him a pizza that we get from one of our donor businesses and he took it with him.

Now the title of this blog is “No Where To Run”. So many people in our own country are hurting and are in need of many things to sustain life. But three of the most critical needs I see is serving the poor, teaching truth and making disciples. It grieves me to hear from so many we serve say they were not excepted in this or that place because of their appearance or their addictions, or because they have messed up and spent time in prison. Yet those are the very ones Christ helped the most. The man above told me he went to four different churches and before he could even get out of his mouth what he wanted, they told him they could not help him. One came to the glass door and did not even bother to open it and walked away. I did not bother to ask him where he went but I know he was telling me the truth. One of these days I am going to dress homeless and visit for myself several of our local churches and see for myself what outcomes I get.

shoesJust today, our new Mentoring Coordinator went to 15 different churches to speak with the Pastors about allowing him the opportunity to talk with their congregations on Mentoring youth whose parents are incarcerated. Out of the 15, two of the churches were open and one of those allowed him to speak with their outreach Pastor, the other did not have time. I know God is moving in this simply because His Word says, “to make disciples”. Christ commanded us to Mentor and we are going to continue to persevere.  Please continue to pray for the doors of His church to open so these youth will have the opportunity to know Christ through Mentoring.

One more comment on this…we hear on many occasions, “well our church is doing this and we are doing that”, so does that mean, “there is no more room in the Inn”, is there really “No Where To Run”….just a thought. Blessings

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