Meet Michael – Cried out to God, but turned away…
Michael came again today to our Homeless Street Ministry. He always asks me if I remember his name, which I could never forget. Ten years ago, when I first started volunteering with Teen Challenge in Homeless Ministry, this Homeless Crack Addict was crying out to God for help, ready to do whatever it took to learn to do things God’s way, to enter the Teen Challenge Recovery program, a 12-18 month commitment no Homeless
man made lightly.
I was elated to pray and counsel with Michael, ready to help him and another Crack addict named Freddie, to enter Teen Challenge and begin the process of Regeneration.
The Teen Challenge Director Ray Elder pulled me aside and told me that they could only accept 1 man into their system that Friday night, that I would have to pray and choose 1 man to rescue, and leave the other man on the streets, homeless and broken.
I felt the weight of the world on my heart, my chest felt like an anvil inside, as I had to walk over and tell Michael and Freddie only 1 man could go into their system that night. I lost Michael that very moment, seeing in his eyes a lifetime of rejection being recalled, his heart broken, believing he would once again be rejected, in his mind rejected by God himself, so he hardened his jaw, his eyes turned steely, and an emotional wall went up between us I could not get through, around, or over that night.
I went through the process of interviewing both men to ask why each one should be the
one rescued that night from the streets, and the other would have to wait “for an
Freddie had all the right answers, Michael could barely reply coherently, his heart broken. I was forced to choose 1 Homeless man to rescue, leaving 1 who wanted God’s help on the streets, for the first and last time. I am painfully reminded of that night every time I see Michael, who has never again come to the point of repentance before God, but always grateful that I remember his name and love him unconditionally. He seems delighted to see I am still at it every week for 10 years now…maybe I will get another chance with Michael.
It was that night I determined never again would I leave a man behind who wanted help. I began to make arrangements with every man turned down by the local Teen Challenge program to buy them a Bus Ticket to other programs around the country, becoming familiar with every good program, and a few bad ones I sometimes had to rerescue guys from. But since Michael, no man has been turned away from God’s help on my watch, literally hundreds have been bussed to Christian Recovery programs nationally.
Michael transitioned me from serving Teen Challenge to starting Layman Lessons
Ministries, as a Homeless Street Ministry that also found a place for every man or woman
who really wanted God’s help to start their Regeneration as Christians. Freddie made it…thank God.
Mr. McVittie, Court Ordered Helper still Volunteering long after his time is up!
Mr. McVittie was court ordered to do Community Service Work, assigned to our ministries.
It is such a pleasure to see Mr. McVittie, who found God’s ways better than his ways in our weekly Homeless Ministries, and now volunteers most Saturdays he is not working, as a part of our Volunteer Team, serving hot coffee, cold water, food, clean up, always one of the best workers we have…there is something to that realization that our level of gratitude to God is in direct proportion to the level of our need God supplied.
Chuck Klusener prepares our Banquet while Kerrie Cherry leads the Sack Lunch Factory!
God shines rays of light on these Court ordered workers as we listen to Praise & Worship!
Our PA System reaches Homeless for several blocks downtown, drawing the Homeless from their “camps” and hideouts to Worship, fellowship with hot coffee, eat a hot meal, and get a fresh set of clothes with that sack lunch to go. Our PA system approach is not unlike the days when the Church bell rang out on Sunday mornings…the Homeless come every week.
This ministry is not funded by any Church, Denomination or Government entity.
2003-2010 Total Salaries & Wages paid = $zero, nada, zilch, nothing, none!
2003-2010 Donations spent for Homeless Ministries = 100%
ALL VEHICLES HAVE 300,000 MILES OR MORE…PRAY FOR REPLACEMENTS! PASSENGER
VANS, BUSSES, STEP VANS/good used cars/trucks…we will put them TO GOOD USE!