8/29/2008

Show and Tell Friday



I thought I would share with you what we do as a family each week to help the poor. This is our life passion...our mission field. Each week our family goes to an area where about 50 homeless folks hang around. We count it a blessing to spend time with these folks and look forward to it each week. It is through Gods provision that we are able to minister to practical needs as well as spiritual. We spend time in prayer with them, encouraging, planting "seeds" of hope and Gods love.  Many have come to know the Lord. We have been so blessed by donations of clothes, food, and personal hygien products for the homeless.  I even get boxes of stuff from across the country! Currently we are doing a bike drive. Many homeless do have jobs and a bike is needed to help them get to work. So that is what we do. I wish I could share a picture or two with you but these folks prefer privacy for many different reasons.


Statistics on Homeless in America:


Daily there are an estimated 800,000 homeless in America. The actual annual count only counts the homeless that can access a shelter. That one night count in 2007 was 146,698,90


Yearly 2.3 to 3.5 million people in America experience a period of homelessness.


A high house market coupled with low wage earning, loss of jobs, mental illness, addictions, account for most of the homeless.


In our area 45 percent of the homeless are fully employed. The waiting list for low income housing and emergency assistance is very long.


We are becoming more active in the political side of homelessness. I find all the paperwork and rules just confusing. For instance to get into a low income house you have to have good credit and a steady job. IF you are homeless you generally do not have one or the other of these. There is a great need for "halfway homes" for folks who need help with finances, addictions, mental illness. Most shelters will not take folks who are drinking or on drugs. That is the group we minister to the most.


This past week we had sad news ( we always dread that this may happen). One of the homeless was robbed and killed. They do get robbed all the time but generally that is all. So it was a sad day amongst the homeless community/family.



Well I have rambled on...


I encourage to to look into your own communities and see what is done for the homeless and working poor. Something as simple as a bottle of water, a snack bar, and a smile can start a relationship that leads that person to the Lord.

11 comments:

  1. That just sounds like a wonderful ministry. Thank you for sharing your story and the stats.

    Be blessed,

    Chasity

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  2. I just LOVE you my SSiC and friend ! You are doing a AMAZING work and what a ministry that IS. I need to pray and approach my hubby and see what we can do here in our own area. It is soooooo needed. I didn't realize that the statisitics of working homeless is that high. I will pray for your ministry and pray how God wants us to start our own.


    I want to say again how much I appreciate you and what a light your are in this dark world.


    Sending you EXTRA BIG ((HUGS)) my SSiC

    In Him<><

    -Mary

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  3. Wow, what a worthwhile cause. Bless you for what you are doing.


    Thanks for your comment about my cards. I saw from your profile that you and I celebrated half a century this summer! It's not so bad, huh?

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  4. blessedwith2angelsAugust 29, 2008 at 7:37 AM

    That is a wonderful ministry for you and your family. I think it is great that you all care enough to do this. : )

    Pam

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  5. What a wonderful example of Jesus you are setting for your children. What a blessing you are to your hurting homeless community.

    Praising the Lord!

    because of Jesus, Bobbie

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  6. Your post gives us a very powerful message. Ministering to the homeless...you are "feeding" them God's Divine Love.

    Blessings, Mama Karen

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  7. What a wonderful thing to be doing. Your children will be so impacted by the wonderful work you are doing.

    We have collected food and clothes for our local shelter. We would like to do more but it is a safety issue for our family. Two of our children are adopted and their birth family is violent/drug addicted and homeless on our city streets. For our children's safety we must gaurd against a chance meeting.

    Blessings,

    Dawn

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  8. What a wonderful ministry to be apart of. We would love to get more involved as a family in helping others, this would be something to look into more! Thanks for sharing.


    Angela

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  9. What a sobering post, yet also an inspiration to do more. A friend of mine runs a homeless ministry in another state and has had tremendous success. We occasionally volunteer at our local shelter and have also carried "goody bags" in our trunk for the homeless. I need to make up some more of those as we are out. Thanks for the reminder!

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  10. Great ideas! Well, I update our camp situation if you're interested. It's finally over!


    Valerie

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  11. Thanks for sharing this. You have given me something to think about.

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Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Psalms 143:8