Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cold days, warm hearts

Please pray for our neighbors who are staying in the homeless shelters or outside with the upcoming winter storm.

We know of many choosing to stay outside due to missions being filled or fear of families being separated. We have provided many with warm clothes, boots, blankets, food, etc... and trust in our loving Father for their care in the days and weeks ahead.

If they are staying at a mission, then they have to be out in the morning. Without employment, there are many hours to fill each day walking here and there.

Sickness comes without insurance, family or friends, or a comfortable, quiet chair in which to rest.

Addiction, depression and loneliness lurk in the depths of many hearts - sometimes even more around the holidays.

Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me." (Matthew 25:40)

There are not quick fix solutions for the individuals and families that are homeless right now.
We are called to witness and walk alongside our neighbors and encourage them on their journey- just as Jesus did. Most times we can not "fix" their situation. Most times we aren't asked to.

Not being able to fix things is very difficult for me and others, but we pray for discernment, listen and trust in the Holy Spirit for His guidance. When I become anxious or frustrated, I fall on my knees.
In my weakness, God continues to tell me - "not in your time, but in mine."
His timing is always perfect. He doesn't depend on us understanding it, just being faithful to living out the Gospel each day.

What we all CAN do is continue to let the love and light of Christ shine through us and be there to listen to them as they move through their trials.
God has allowed us to do this while serving lunch each Saturday. We just show up, and God moves the mountains.

On behalf of our neighbors in need around the Grand Rapids area:
Thank you to so many of you for your prayers and contributions to God's mission through us. Many have been encouraged and stepped beyond homelessness/joblessness.

Lastly, I hope you will make this season a time to give back to those less fortunate where ever you live. There are so many people out there who could use a helping hand! And as you know, it's not all about the big things since who doesn't have myriad obligations and time constraints during this time of year? Remember that Jesus "humbled Himself" to be with us, conversed with believers and doubters alike and reminded us how much God loves us.

So, let's not forget the little things - the common courtesies during the hustle and bustle, acknowledging (instead of ignoring) the homeless guy down the block, lending an ear to the lonely senior next door - which give us opportunities for grace and to show love of neighbour during the Christmas season.
If you are able to volunteer at the local shelter, soup kitchen or parish event or donate to these places, to a food bank or a toy bank, what are you waiting for?

We have sponsored some elderly people in need with monthly bus passes and our currently looking for someone to provide in this area.
If you are interested in providing a bus pass, food card, Bible, etc... for a neighbor in need, please contact me at 915-2414 or e-mail me.

Please pray for all of us as we continue to pray for the needs and intentions of many.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ reign in your heart, your mind and on your lips today and always.