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Category: Testimonies
Topic: what to say and what not to say

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Hi, Mike. I assume you will read this since you responded to one of my wife's posts. I wish Donald Miller did the same. Anywho.....We met you in Harrisburg two months ago at a youth conference in Pennsylvania. Your story and your book really touched us and we could feel God moving. Well, our youth director at our church is setting us up to go to the homeless shelter in Baltimore. We are excited and I think some of the kids are looking forward to it. If we do indeed make this venture, what are some things that we should be aware of when dealing with homeless people. You said in your book that there is a definite culture in the homeless world. What things should we not say and what things should we say to them. I wouldn't want one of us putting our foot in in our mouth or offending anyone. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Mike (or anyone else who may read this and want to reply)


Posted: 2007-01-18 17:41:00

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Hi Josh,

I am a volunteer advocate for the homeless in Houston. I am excited both for your group, and the homeless folks you will encounter. I can feel the touch of God in your wanting to say or do the right thing.

I have learned to make eye contact, to smile, to offer my hand to shake, and offer my name. If someone avoids making eye contact they most likely do not want to be touched either, but they might still appreciate conversation.

The best advice I could give anyone is to spend a little time alone with Father, asking Him to guide your words and actions. Because He knows your heart, and He knows everyone He plans to put in your path at the shelter, He will be the best Guide you all could have :)

Be prepared for breath not sweetened by mouthwash, and bodies not smelling as sweet as a rose, but smiles as warm as sunshine on a frosty morning and hearts as big as Texas.

God bless,


Posted: 2007-01-25 17:14:00

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