Cross and Shield Ministries is blessed beyond measure to participate in a homeless ministry that has proven to become more and more of a vital part of our outreach, here in the River Valley area.
You don’t have to go far these days to find someone who is homeless and without the very basics that we tend to take for granted everyday of our lives.
Below is the story of “A Man with One Wet Sneaker.”
As we sat in church my cell phone started to vibrate so I stepped outside and answered it. The call was from a man who had just dropped off a vagrant at the Main Street Mission in Russellville. The ‘Good Samaritan’ saw the man walking and felt sorry for him. He was soaking wet and was only wearing one shoe. So he and took him to the Mission. No one was at the Mission, but he found my number on our trailer that is parked there and so he called.
After church we drove to the Mission and saw a truly sad sight. There he was – sitting on the ground enjoying the sunshine, holding one worn-out wet sneaker. He was unkempt, dirty, and smelling sort of like a wet dog, only worse. He told me he was just hitchhiking around the country and was passing thru our city. He had crawled into a nice culvert to spend the night; which would have been fine if it hadn’t started to rain. We got a much needed gully-washer, but this guy – and all of his meager belongings (except for one sneaker) – just got washed out. So there he sat, trying to squeeze the water out of his holey socks. He told me he had been on the road since 2006, but he didn’t remember exactly where all he had been. He thought he was heading to Washington DC. He said he “wanted to see the Capital and visit the President.”
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that “Jon, no last name” was one of those poor lost souls that had slipped between the cracks and was just ‘out there’ on his own. It’s not against the law to be homeless and/or crazy, and as long as they don’t try to hurt themselves or someone else, there is nothing the system is going to do for them. That’s just how it is. In Mark 14: 7 Jesus said, “You will always have poor people with you, and any time you want to, you can help them.” So I unlocked the Mission Warehouse and took him inside. First, we found a really nice pair of walking shoes, almost new and just his size. Next he picked out several pairs of socks and underwear; then two pairs of pants and a couple of shirts. We put his extra things in a backpack and found him a nice warm jacket.
Then we went to a restaurant and got him a good lunch. There in the parking lot I shared a brief presentation of the Gospel and asked if I could pray for him. He said, ‘I’d really like that’. So I put my arm around his shoulder and prayed. Part of that prayer was asking the Lord to protect him and draw him close to Himself. Then he asked me if I had a Bible that he could have and of course I said yes. I put a tract and a few dollars in the Bible and slipped that into his backpack. He thanked me and started walking east.
Where is he at today? I don’t know – but God does. I believe I did what I could and now he’s in the Lord’s hands, and that’s really not a bad place to be.
Each of us has the capability of having our own homeless ministry. The question is, “Are you prepared to accept the challenge?”
With so many people here in the United States being blessed with an abundance, should there be any homeless people in our great nation?
Your donation to this ministry and others like us, help us to be able to deliver a little hope and assistance who are their greatest point of need in their lives. Won’t you step up to the plate and lend us a hand by offering a generous donation to our homeless ministry to help us make a difference here in the River Valley area.