That I May Know Him

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. ~ 1 John 5:20 (KJV)

Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Caring for the homeless

Each morning, as I walk down the street to get to my work building, there is the same homeless man standing by the metro door. At times, he is there with another homeless man or two.

I once had a terrific chance to hand him some money and a tract and tell Him about the God that loves and cares for Him. He says He believes there is a God "out there" but admits that He does not know Him. I had told Him I would pray for Him. I must admit that since then, I have not spoken to him (and maybe only prayed for him twice, bad, I know) and now I just kind of walk away. Lately though, my heart has been burning to stop and speak to him concerning Christ once again and place some more tracts in his hands.

Lord wiling, I will get a chance some time this week. Especially that once a month, our church goes down to the "Welcome Hall Mission" which houses and feeds the homeless. It is not too far from my workplace, and I would love for that man to go down there when our men are preaching. I would like to invite him. The Welcome Hall Mission is also a Christian based shelter!

My heart really burns for the homeless. When we go to the Mission, it's mostly men, but there are few women (maybe 3-4) and at times, you will find a young lady, maybe my age. It's terribly sad.

Going back to this homeless man near my workplace, I really want to pray that the Lord will give me the opportunity, maybe tomorrow, to share the gospel, the good news cocerning Jesus Christ the Saviour.

Psa 9:18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

Psa 74:21 O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.

22 Comments:

  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 12:11:00 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said…

    It must be pretty rotten being homeless.

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 12:12:00 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said…

    You are very compassionate.

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 12:43:00 PM, Blogger Redeemed said…

    It's a bit hard to swallow when you see young people. I question myslef, where are the parents in all this.

    I forgot the verse, but it says that true religion is to care for the fatherless and for the widows (my own messed up translation). I'll look it up later.

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 12:52:00 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said…

    The problem comes when governments take on repsonsibility to solve the problems of homelessness.

    In Britain, local givenrments have a duty to provide housing for everybody. There should not actually be any homeless people.

    I am not sure that charities helping the homeless do not actually perpetuate the problem of homelessness.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 4:56:00 PM, Blogger Consecrated said…

    I have never understood how these people end up being homeless. Where are their families? Is there no one at all?

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 5:29:00 PM, Blogger The IBEX Scribe said…

    They may have no ties with families. I certainly would not let any of my friends or family go homeless as long as I had shelter (and they didn't drive me absolutely batty). I think shelters respond to the issue rather than perpetuate it. One might argue that the charge was given to the church to care for the needy in their midst, not to the government. HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development for you non-US people) is supposed to take care of providing affordable housing, but when people don't work they can't even pay for that. Then there are cities like San Francisco that encourage homeless people to come to them. I just don't get that. They really do perpetuate the problem there by there really illogical policies.

    Children on the streets could very possibly be runaways. That's a sad thing.

    Sarah, just a little comment. Generally speaking it is not a good idea to give money to homeless people. I would instead take the money that you would give and buy some food instead. A lot of homeless people are addicted to drugs or alcohol and will use the money to buy those things. Maybe that's just the homeless in Los Angeles, but I think gifts in kind instead of in specie are probably wiser. (So say the sages in the homeless ministries I have worked with in LA.) :)

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 6:11:00 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said…

    In Britain, we have policies that should in theory provide housing for anyone. For some reason, there are homeless people nevertheless.

    If there were no shelters, people would die on the street. Maybe that would ensure that the government implemented practical policies to deal with homelessness.

    In principle I believe in small govenrment and that welfare is dangerous. However, I find it difficult to see real solutions to homelessness without government housing policies and welfare payments.

    I should love to hear better ideas from like-minded Right-wing people.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 8:01:00 PM, Blogger The IBEX Scribe said…

    In principle I believe in small govenrment and that welfare is dangerous. However, I find it difficult to see real solutions to homelessness without government housing policies and welfare payments.

    And there's the catch when you say real solutions. I don't like it but don't really see how to get rid of it. We get to have so many levels of government here - federal, state, county, and city (where applicable) - that one could spend a long time determining who should pay for what. Then there are the taxes. If it is federal, the tax is going to be unequal because the cost of living varies so much between places. If it is taxed locally it will be unequal because a greater burden will be put on poorer areas. Good capitalist that I am, I don't like putting higher incomes in higher tax brackets, either, so it's a difficult question soley on the level of taxing to pay for programs. Personally I wish that families and private organizations did a better job of taking care of people so the government doesn't have to, but with the individualistic society we have here I doubt that would happen. There is always the idea of holding everything in common so that all are cared for, but doing so voluntarily and not because that is how the government tells you to do things, if you catch my drift.

     
  • At Wednesday, May 17, 2006 8:32:00 PM, Blogger Redeemed said…

    Hi Matthew,

    The government does not do a very good job with the homeless. Over here, you can live a comfortable life off welfare. And that, of course, comes out of the tax-payer's money. I do, however, believe it is important in aiding the homeless, especially as Christians, since we believe in second chances.

    Like Christ said "For ye have the poor always with you" and the homeless will always be around, except for when Christ shall rule this earth. Amen!

    Consecrated, I question myself the same. I hate to admit, but much too often, it is due to sin. Drug and alcahool abuse, etc. I'm more baffled with the younger homeless...where are the parents in all this? I think most of them are runaways, like Angie mentionned.

    Speaking of which, Hi Angie!

    I fully agree with you. The homeless man I mentionn in my post always has cigarettes with him. No place to live, but ample cigarettes...makes you wonder. And I'm with you, I think the poor and homeless will always be around. It's a corruted sinful world controled by the prince of the power of the air, but when the King of Kings shall rule, then all things shall be well and just.

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 2:15:00 AM, Blogger Carey said…

    Umm... at this point, I'm not sure whether or not to jump into this discussion... nah. I think I'll just read or wait until I have had adequate sleep to give an intelligent answer (if those are possible coming from me).

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 8:14:00 AM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said…

    The problem with the Church helping the poor is that the governments in Europe and to a lesser extent, the USA, have committed themselves to looking after the poor.

    Is it therefore good stewardship of resources for Christians to provide expensive programmes to help the homeless?

    Charitable work among the homeless may make life on the streets easier, it is not very effective in getting people off the streets.

    If the government has undertaken to help the homeless, then our helping them may actually cause the government to shirk the responsibility it has undertaken (without reducing taxes, of course).

    Churches cannot provide many low-cost apartments for homeless people, but they can build shelters.

    But do homeless shelters actually help the homeless?

    Do they not actually have the effect of throwing homeless people together, re-inforcing cultures of moral degradation and substance abuse?

    Would you give a job to a person living in a shelter? Nobody in their right mind would.

    What the homeless need is proper affordable housing, which is waht they are legally supposed to receive in the UK.

    Homeless shelters may in fact make it easier for the local government to avoid its responsiblity to house the homeless.

    Homeless people cannot break out of their spiral of degradation without housing.

    This is why I cannot see any alternative to a limited welfare state.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 10:28:00 AM, Blogger The IBEX Scribe said…

    Interesting thoughts, Matthew. The homeless shelter recently mentioned on my blog is actually somewhat successful in helping homeless people get off of the streets. They have very strict rules there (if they are not followed they are kicked out of the shelter) and work with the community to provide training for jobs and so forth. People are not allowed to stay there longer than six months, either, so there is incentive to try hard. It may be an anomoly, but it does work in many cases.

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 10:42:00 AM, Blogger Redeemed said…

    Angie, that sounds like our welcome hall mission. They have a new department just like that for men that are earnestly searching to get their life back. And it's a christian programm, they have a message everyday. Our associate Pastor works with those men.

    Matthew, our welfare system over here is very corrupt. It's taken advantage of. We, the tax payers pay for that, and most of the people on welfare abuse of that money to buy their alcahool and drugs alcohol.

    However, like I mentionned to Angie, the Welcome Hall shelter that we have here is doing wonders. It is based on God's Word!

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 10:57:00 AM, Blogger Consecrated said…

    Sarah,
    If you know that these people abuse the "sous" that you give them, then give them something else instead.

    we have a colleague, of a certain religion, at a certain feast of their, goes to McDonalds, buys bags of hamburgers, and goes around distributing them to the homeless. I have often wondered if these homeless were really happy with what he does. May be as Angie mentioned they prefer drugs or alcohol because any person can find a job. Don't tell me otherwise. If they don't drink, let them work.

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 12:12:00 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said…

    I have met quite a few people who could never find a job.

    There lives are jsut so chaotic that even if they managed to clean up their appearance, even if they manged to get a postal address; they are so unused to living in an orderly manner that they would be fired after a day's work.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 12:14:00 PM, Blogger Redeemed said…

    I only give them the money, so that I can give them a tract to go along.

    What puzzles me, if what you mentioned. Anybody can get a job if they are looking, and yet, with their kind of past, it is hard to get hired. Especially if you have a police record for drug abuse or just trouble with the law.

    Working with the homeless is certainly not my calling, especially that most of them seem to be men.

    But somebody has to reach out to them. They have to hear the gospel. Especially those young runaways, they need to know that there is HOPE.

    My heart does go out to them.

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 5:13:00 PM, Blogger Carey said…

    My grandmother and great-aunt run a homeless shelter in Missouri. Sure, most of the people there probably could get a job, but we don't know all of the components to why they are homeless. What they need -- just like everyone else -- is Jesus, and that's the first thing we need to give them, along with any help they might need.

     
  • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 8:36:00 PM, Blogger Redeemed said…

    Amen, Carey. We have a responsibility, and that is to share the gospel and to help the needy, just like they are responsable and held accountable to their own actions.

    After all, that is why Jesus Christ came.

    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Luke 4:18

     
  • At Friday, May 19, 2006 4:59:00 PM, Blogger Consecrated said…

    I don't think I have met homeless teenagers. They may be run-aways.

     
  • At Saturday, May 20, 2006 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Redeemed said…

    I have seen just a few at the Welcome Hall. I will never forget this one girl, she loooked like she may be exactly my age.

     
  • At Sunday, May 21, 2006 3:06:00 PM, Blogger Carey said…

    My grandmother has had quite a few homeless teenagers, but like Leila said, they were mostly run-aways.

     
  • At Sunday, May 21, 2006 4:25:00 PM, Blogger Redeemed said…

    Yeah, I think most "homeless" teenagers I see have got to be runaways.

    Just the same, it's terribly sad.

     

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