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Category: Testimonies
Topic: Make your faith a verb

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I have an incredible story to share and it began because of a changed heart from reading Mike's book and listening to him speak.

On our way back home Sunday from CPYA, our High School Youth annual retreat where Mike spoke, we came upon a homeless man at the exit heading back to Redmond. Our bus stopped, a couple youth got out and took some of our food and water bottles out to this man... we were in the 2nd turn lane farthest away from the side of the road. ALL traffic stopped. The light turned green and NOT ONE CAR MOVED! They all witnessed this gesture from these youth. God was there.

The next day, Monday, I was with my teenage son and we saw three homeless men in the Walmart parking lot, so we waved joyfully, went in the store to buy my garbage bags (my only need) and decided to buy some food... then for some reason went to buy ibuprofen on the other side of the store... not sure why at the time.

Went back out to the parking lot and there on the corner, they sat. We took the groceries over and started talking with these guys... I've never done that before. Found out that one had lost the front of both feet from frostbite in the last few years. One had frostbite and wounds from last winter. Two had tennis shoes and not in good shape. One backpack was pretty tore up. We asked their needs and found they needed a tent, because theirs was torn all the way across the side and didn't keep them warm, among other things. They were staying in BLM land 4 miles out of town and had no cookstove, nothing but their clothes on their back and a tent... two had sleeping bags and pillows. Well, the guy with the frostbite & wounds said his foot hurt pretty bad. We just happened to have IBUPROFEN in the grocery bag! God was there!

(This is the condensed version.) Called my husband, asked if we could give up our two room tent and camping gear with cookstove, etc & sleeping bag, camp chairs, etc... After work, my hubby met us at Walmart and we drove these guys to their campsite along with some of my youth group kids and other leaders... set up their tent, got them situated, brought them water, dishes, food, etc. God was there!

We have sinced delivered wood for them, took Thanksgiving dinner to them and ate with them, met more guys out there in that area, clothed, received new warm winter boots for four men, gloves, coats... had some men from the church drive them to the local Armory for free showers, gave them towels to keep, etc. Took them to the social services office to help get them started on the Disability paperwork. Went to the HUD housing office with them and filled out applications.

In one week's time, our youth have adopted these three men and a few of their friends. Our congregation has gotten involved. We have a gal who's already filling out a grant for funds to help find housing and other help for the homeless. Not one of these men wants to be homeless. The youth will be serving a warm meal once a week (for all these men and any others we can notify) at the church. We will be picking them up in the church bus each Sunday to bring them to church where they can worship and get a meal. We've given them a hand saw so they can cut some of their own wood. We're taking steps to help get them out of homelessness. I know that not everyone we come in contact with are going to be removed from homelessness and maybe not many, but we are striving to serve them and do what we can. Even if we don't remove them from homelessness, we can help to feed them, both with food and God's word. (Also gave them Bibles and flashlights.) Two of the three are Christian men.

We have a gal that works on a team in the community that is helping with the homeless concerns and she has consulted with us to help us with safety features, etc.

This weekend, we're going Christmas tree cutting and are getting one for them, will take it to them and decorate it. Then Christmas morning, several families are going out there to their "camp site" first thing in the morning to have a little celebration of Christ's birth. They'll even receive a couple gifts from the youth.

We've all made a covenant with God that we will not ignore these men and we will not forget them. This is a lifetime friendship we're building with them. Not all of the folks we come across will become lifetime friends, but these three are different for us and we've all become close to them already. (One of my friends and member of our church is a doctor and went out to their campsite with me and treated the bad foot. He really liked his patient.)

This story is to share that the Holy Spirit is working in each of us in different ways. Our new youth group motto is "Make your faith a verb, not a noun" and we are all putting our faith into action and not just talking about it or just praying, but doing. Thank you all for the awesome CPYA, for finding Mike at this time in our lives, and for support in prayer for each other. My life personally has been changed. My heart has changed. My thinking has changed. At this moment, I have given all control to God and I pray that I can continue to let Him lead me and know that it is my faith in Him that leads my life, not faith in myself that I can do things. (Mike, I got that from you! :-) God is here!



Posted: 2008-12-03 14:50:32

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