God is taking me on a wild ride and I wouldn't have it any other way. Join in on the laughter, love, and tears of daily life at Breaking Chains Homeless Ministry.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Many of you have asked me what my vision is for the homeless ministry. I'm working on a formal version of this for fundraising and publicity purposes but here it is for the blogger world to see in it's initial stages.
For several months now I've been talking about what could be accomplished if we had a facility in which to meet the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of the people we work with. The majority of them are 15-25 years old, living on the streets, have no regular source of income and are addicted to glue huffing, alcohol, or drugs to different degrees. There are also a precious few who have managed to survive without an addiction and are fighting that daily pressure and the very real feelings of hunger and hopelessness that have not been numbed by substance abuse. In my life I have not seen a more clear picture of "the least of these." (Matthew 25:31-46) There are also the children who are much easier to love and much easier to find help for but when I read this passage it is the adults that come to my mind. They live in a world that refuses to see them, without hope or opportunity for change. Most of them grew up on the streets and were once those precious lovable kids, they were just never offered a way out.
I've been praying for God to show me His will for my life with these people and I've been keeping my eye out for possible facilities. Just last week when we were driving around I spotted this beautiful, but obviously abandoned building, and decided to call about it. It has a very negotiable, fairly low price and has all the space we could possibly need. It needs a lot of work but we have teams LOOKING for ways to get involved with the homeless ministry. What better way than working side by side to restore this old building to it's old grandeur and turn it into a multi-faceted facility to serve the poor of downtown Tegucigalpa. I do believe it's the answer to a lot of prayer but we are a LONG way from acquiring a building. Paperwork, fundraising, honduran non profit approval, and an administration team need to be put together as well as many other details.
But now to the nitty gritty, if/when we have a facility what do I see happeneing there, you ask. Well many things. Initially I see it as a place where we can get off of the side of the street and have a consistent, safe place to feed a nightly meal and eventually 3 meals a day. Also initially I see it as a place to begin to meet spiritual needs with devotionals and church services and just a listening ear when needed. From there I would love to see classes in sewing (we're awaiting a large donation of sewing machines), and cooking (I adore cooking and I think we could make a go of a small bakery) take place with a small shop that could provide some income back into the ministry and provide business skills to the workers so that one day they could open a business of their own. I would also like to be able to have a small clinic held weekly to meet their wide range of needs. Most of them can access medical care at a government funded clinic nearby but they rarely have medicines and wound care (which is abundant) is often neglected.
I would love to have a sharing center where they can get clothing when needed with out mass giveaways that tend to cause fights. I've begun to talk to local church leaders about getting their churches involved in the ministry and helping to come feed. It would be amazing to me to see our homeless ministry become a place of service for many different Christians throughout Tegicigalpa.
And finally, (I think), I would eventually like to have short term housing for single mothers and women until they can get back on their feet. Often times young women will have a place to stay with a boyfriend but after a fight they end up on the streets which isn't a huge jump from turning to prostitution. If we can provide them an interum place and hopefully a skill as well maybe we can save a few from such a hard hard life.
I believe God has placed this on my heart and I plan to pursue it with all of my energies. I know that He will make the path straight to the end result that He desires. Working with the homeless is not safe or easy but God has not called us to live a safe and easy life. I believe whole heartedly that with prudence and God's protection that this ministry can begin to change lives. God has already begun to break down some of the emotional barriers between us and many of our new friends that will prayerfully lead them to a relationship with Him. Please pray for this ministry, offer your advice and just keep us in mind as you go about your daily walk with God.