I wanted to write and thank you all for making this past week a success.
I hope that you had a wonderful experience helping the most vulnerable members of our community.
Believe me when I say that lives were changed this past week.
Two ladies committed their lives to Christ.
Three women came back to Church this past Sunday after they left. We sent a bus out to pick them up.
Numerous relationships were either formed or in some cases rekindled.
I wanted to pass on this video from Caritas that shows the power of many volunteers, supporters and staff coming together to make a difference in the lives of those who are struggling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lMPaLhQJok
While we only see the women for a week, you can be assured that your love and service had an impact on many lives.
I went to the grocery store and saw this woman sitting on the corner. My heart sank and I got very frustrated. The reason is that I knew her and she was staying with me at the church. You see this past week the church has been hosting 43 homeless women(Caritas). I see women on the streets all the time, but this day it meant so much more. She was sleeping at our church during the night, but during the day she is taken back to the streets to sit all day and wait for the evening to come. This woman has some physical limitations that would keep her from a lot of mobility. I believe we can do so much better for those less fortunate. What would this picture look like if it were 20 degrees outside or it was cold and raining? There needs to be a day space that enables people to be constructive and build self worth and dignity. I use the term "day space" as opposed to shelter because it has negative connotations. Not to mention "homeless" is much worse! The day space could be the central point for services as well. This church has the space, but not the labor capacity to pull this off. I pray that more foot soldiers will come on board to help make this possible. We can partner together to make this city a much kinder and loving place to be. THE Church (as a whole) has the ability and capacity to make this happen! P.S. By the way I did go speak to Anne (not her real name) and made sure she was OK. She claimed she was waiting on someone and that she would see me that night.
A man's look back on his family life after 44 years. This past week Atlee Church has been hosting 43 homeless women. It is always a joy getting to know the ladies. This one particular lady came up to me last night to say she had a story to tell me. It was a story about a man who broke into a church to steal the safe in the office. She got the story from her husband. She had spoken to her husband, Rickey Massenberg about where she was staying for the week. He asked her for more details and it was at that point, he told her that his father had died at that church trying to steal a safe. As soon as she told me I was in a state of shock. Back in July one of my fellow pastors had sent me the following article from the Free Lance Star paper that dated back 44 years! Read article below. News Article Last night I told Rickey's wife that the murder weapon was still in the office.
I took her to see it. Then this morning Rickey left me a voice mail asking if we could get together. I went downtown to pick him up. I brought him to the church. He shared with me stories about his father and how strong of a man he was. His father stood some 6' 5"+ tall and as Rickey described him, "he didn't have a six-pack, but a twelve pack". Rickey was describing his dad's abs. At one point his father could lift 1,100 pounds above his head three times in a row. I got to hear a lot about his family life. When we got to the safe he was taken back by the flood of memories he had of his father. He never thought he would see the day that he would see the safe that killed his dad.
His Dad died two days before his birthday. Rickey and his wife both said to me that his dad "never should have tried to steal from the house of the Lord".