Sunday, January 17, 2016

Reaching Out Beyond Our Own Walls

 For years my Uncle has been involved with a ministry to the homeless. I thought it was a great thing but didn't think twice about it. In recent months it has been on my heart to get involved but I didn't put the extra effort into it. I don't know why, because years ago I read a book titled, "Trolls and Truth" about a ministry to the homeless in Texas and it was so inspiring that I wanted to one day travel to Texas to visit their Church Under the Bridge. So, why did I put off helping a similar ministry in the town I grew up in? I don't know, but as it began to grow in my heart recently it was even stronger in my youngest daughter's heart. She started asking to help and wanted our family to do this together and so I knew it was time to step out of our comfort zone and help others.
 Saturday we drove to Durham and asked how we could help. We unloaded lots and lots of coats and placed handwritten notes inside the pockets that said, "You are loved"  We organized tables of winter clothes, hats, gloves and scarves and so much more. We set up chairs for church service. The bus drove to the homeless shelter and picked up anyone wanted to come.
 We sat among the people and enjoyed praise and worship and  a short sermon followed by passing out of Bibles, warm coats, hats and gloves and served them a hot meal.
 I watched as my youngest daughter walked up to strangers and offered them hats, gloves and scarves. Something so out of her comfort zone and yet she seemed so at peace with what she was doing.
 I watched a little girl pick up the rabbit fur coat that we donated and it was a perfect fit. She was beaming when she found it. My heart was full.
 After the service, several were given an opportunity to share songs. They were so happy to sing and to have someone listen to them.
 One of the most amazing thins was the many who came to be ministered to but offered to help in any way they could. The gentleman in the wheelchair asked for help in finding a coat that fit him better. I handed him a coat as he tried it on and it fit. He then offered to help organize or put things out for others.
 This man ate the food on his plate and returned to thank those who served him.

This post is not to "toot my own horn" and brag about what I did. This post is to ask you to reach outside your own walls and help those in need. We went to help the needy but in so many ways these people taught us and ministered to us so much more. I cant wait until next month when we can spend our day with these people again.  In the mean time, I will think about other items that I can collect that will help them and pray that God would show us the way and open doors to minister to others.

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