Most of you that read my blog know that I tend to get a little preachy and lean toward messages of salvation. This one is taking a slightly different twist. My church has been helping out by supporting Room In The Inn. Room In The Inn is a Homeless Ministry thru Urban Ministries in Charlotte. Once a week we have 10 neighbors from Charlotte come stay with us, have a meal, shower, and the like. This week was our 2nd week of participating this winter and I got to drive the bus to pick up and drop off our neighbors. My church developed a great reputation last year with the neighbors. By the end of the season last year, folks were actually trying to position themselves so they could be picked to come to MTZ. With this being only our second week so far this year, we have already started to regain that street cred! People that are utilizing RITI are already starting to look for our church bus each week and have commented on being "Blessed" to get to stay with us. Just hearing that warms my heart!! I think about how so many people in the church have pitched in and are helping out each week. I think about the genuine concern I've seen members of my church have for our guests. Just a week before our first guests arrived, our youth gathered and prayed in the house for the guests that would be staying with us this year. By the reactions I've seen from those guests, it shows!
Today as I drove the bus back to Charlotte, the ladies that stayed with us last night blessed me.
We pulled out of the church and they began singing. They sang soulful gospel songs for almost 30 minutes as we made our way to Charlotte. A few of them are part of a choir and were trying to convince others to join. The singing was absolutely fantastic!!! To imagine I get to receive a Blessing that so many members of my church deserved to be a part is completely humbling. I got to listen to over half of our 10 guests sing praises to God, with all of their hearts, while they are in the midst of a huge storm. They showed me true faith as they sang and praised God. Homelessness is growing and the resources just are not there to take care of the need. Today I received a Blessing because so many people did just a little more than what they normally do, and Praise God for allowing us to help just a little. I hope this Blessing I got to witness today warms you! All those that have helped with or are going to help with RITI, that Blessing came because you are doing what God has put on your heart! You are following His lead and I pray He put even more on your hearts!!! This is also the time of year where people scramble to give just before the end of the tax year. If you are looking to give, give to the churches in your area. What I have mentioned is just one of many ministries through my church and I know they have many others that touch people and are just as important as RITI. Please give your support, you will be blessed because of your actions and donations, more than you could ever imagine.
Thank you for reading, and All Glory to God!
Follow this link, it has the men members of the group as well as our ladies!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I was reading an article from the Mountain Times this week and I really really had my heart burdened. My heart was burdened to the point I almost came to tears........in the office! In fact there were a few articles in that paper about the tough times we've all been having. One was about a Food Pantry in the High Country of NC that has run OUT of food. Another, the one that pulled so hard, was about a Homeless Shelter in Boone. They interviewed this guy who is/was a heating and air worker that is now homeless. They talked about how they have 20 beds and a fire code of 17. Many nights this shelter has to break the law to help people live. The shelter will allow those that have absolutely no place to go stay first, then those who live in cars, and then those that can find a place with someone. Every night the shelter has to turn people away. Have you ever experienced the weather in Boone during the winter??? As I read the articles I noticed the weather advertisement on the page...... At lunchtime that day when it was nice and toasty in the 50's in Charlotte, Boone was topping out at 28! Anyone that has been to Boone in the winter also knows about the unforgiving winds they have. The cold wind hunts you down and haunts you....there is no escape. Boone has already had several snows this year and severely cold temperatures. I guess it just sunk in, that in Boone the homeless don't have the programs folks in the Piedmont have and I know the struggles they have. Those in the same situation in Boone are basically out there to Die! How difficult would it be to turn people away on a night the reached single digit temperatures? In fact every time folks are picked to fill the shelter, others are inadvertently picked to face death. Jesus Commanded us to "Love our neighbors as we love ourselves"....... where is this love? Jesus said, in Matthew 25:34-40 (NKJV), 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
I just know I'm not doing enough. I know God has burdened my heart for a reason. That reason may be to call everyone that reads this to action. Maybe God has burdened your heart with this as well and has given you an idea to help (let me know what you have..). Maybe this is to bring you and me together to work as a team!? Please contact me with anything that God puts on your heart! I'm just at a loss right now! Please join with me in prayer as well so that God will put on our hearts the solution He wants us to work on. I hope you're reading this and you're drinking a hot cup of coffee, eating breakfast, and listening to the heat come on inside your house....... Just so you can remember those that don't have any of that.
Thank you for reading and God Bless you,
As I write this, it is 31 degrees in Cornelius NC. It's currently 23 in Boone with a High Wind Warning and a Winter Weather Advisory.
http://www.mountaintimes.com/ ( the paper I referenced in this blog)