Jesus said, “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:32–40
It is a sad reality that in countries such as Canada and USA, as well as in every developed nation, there are poor, homeless people living on the streets. They are very much out of the public eye for the most part, but they live there. Many are forlorn and neglected. Many are there due to circumstances beyond their control. Many also have mental health issues. During the summer time, it is manageable (although still not an ideal living situation), but in the winter time it gets very cold.
When Jesus told His followers to help the poor and needy, He meant not only those in far away countries, where there is much poverty, He also meant that we are not to neglect those close to home. There are the poor, sick and suffering all around us.
“How wise the arrangement of God in giving to every man a work to do to promote the cause and save his fellow men. Each was to demonstrate a living faith in his family and in his neighborhood, by showing kindness to the poor, sympathizing with the afflicted, engaging in missionary labor, and by aiding the cause of God with his means.” –Testimonies, for the Church, vol. 4, p. 384
In the past few months, the Lord has impressed me with the ministry to the homeless in the large cities close to where I live. Thanks to generous donations from a few people, my ministry has been able to become a reality.
Some of the local church members have also expressed an interest in helping in this work for our Master.
On the first Monday in October Sister Tiffany, her mother, Sister Tina, and I headed out to the city of Hamilton with a car loaded with clothing and food. We also brought along some Bibles and missionary tracts. We not only want to give people a hand out, but also a hand up to help them find permanent solutions to their problems such as housing. We also want to point them to Jesus who is their dearest friend, when it seems that they have no friends left in the world. Jesus will help them and comfort them in their lowest point in their lives.
The people we found had a great need for warm clothing, food, blankets, umbrellas, hand warmers and Bibles. They are barely surviving there it seems. The weather is starting to get very cold now as winter approaches. All the people we met were extremely thankful when we pulled up. We kept telling them God loves them as we let them freely choose from the supplies we had brought in our car. Everyone was very excited, very happy, and very, very grateful. I felt so good and happy, and felt like Jesus was smiling at us. I announced that we are doing this because Jesus said that “If we’ve done it unto the least of these My brethren, you’ve done it unto Me.” Suddenly a homeless lady saw the tracts we were handing out with the messages of hope and church contact information, and exclaimed… “Do you by chance… have a Bible?” I said “Wow, I sure do actually! I knew I brought these for a reason.” And I pulled out a small New Testament and held it towards her. She clasped it to her chest in sheer joy and kept uttering words of thanks and praise saying that the Bible would warm her soul, and the clothes we just gave her would warm her body. Another homeless person, a very excited elderly man had heard me mention having the Bible and had immediately hurried to join us too, and when he saw the Bible in my hand his eyes lit up. Luckily I had two, but instantly as soon as I handed my two Bibles out a third homeless person exclaimed “Oh I need a Bible so badly too.” And I sadly said “Oh no, that was my last Bible.” But it turned out he was friends with the homeless lady I had handed the first Bible to, so they agreed to share the Bible I had given her, and I promised to bring more Bibles next time.
I thank God so much for this beautiful experience. I have never had people ask me for a Bible like that before. That there is such a thirst for the word of God is a refreshment to the soul. The people saw the love that God gave us to share with them, and then their next question all day was “Do you help with housing too?” All the homeless wanted, they said, is a warm and dry place to stay indoors and that there are not enough shelters. One little elderly lady with a cane was sitting in front of a homeless shelter that had not yet opened for the night, and exclaimed to us that she always “gets there early.” I saw that she had a cane that the blind use and was sitting on the front step of the closed homeless shelter with only a light shirt on. All I could think about is that if that were my grandma I would be worried. We asked if she was ok, and if she needed any help, and she assured us that the place would provide her shelter. We gave her a warm coat, hat and gloves.
I told the homeless people that we would love to help with housing and that we are praying for God to provide a solution to that problem, and mentioned helping build small homeless shelters that we could perhaps set up on donated land. One young man advised us that “Three small tarps from the Dollar store, and specifically Gorilla tape,” (as apparently all other tape leaks) “would be some necessary items to help construct small temporary makeshift shelters. ” This would help while we try to help them find permanent shelter.
We met this one young married couple (see picture) who were wanting to stay the nights together and therefore having virtually no luck finding homeless shelters to stay in, as there are only separate men’s and women’s homeless shelters. A lot of people had tents set up in which to keep what little possessions in the world they have, but in the previous few days there was a heavy rainstorm, and quite a few people said that everything had gotten wet and were desperate for dry socks especially as they said “The nights are getting very cold now.”
At the end of the day we had passed out a full car load of warm and useful items. We had been remarking to each other all day that we were “having so much fun doing Jesus’s work” and the car ride home was filled with many joyous recountings of all the blessings Jesus had blessed us to share with other people. I can say without a doubt it is far better to give than to receive.
We thank everyone so much for your continued prayer and support. Please continue to pray that God can work through us, that together with you we can help save a world that is dying. That we will go beyond dying with Christ but will rise and walk in newness of life too, to also put on the new life of Jesus Christ by living the life that Jesus would live. God is not going to ask you when He returns to earth how big our house was, or what kind of car we were driving… He is going to ask, “What did you do to feed and clothe My starving children? What did you do to help people who were dying with no hope?” Again, Jesus says “if you have done it unto the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me.”
May God bless you all. I pray that wherever we are, we can all do something to provide help to the less fortunate, as God grants us the ability and means.
Since we gave out everything we had, we are now looking for more donations and Bibles so that we can make regular visits to find help these people. With cash donations, we will go to the second hand stores to find good blankets and winter clothing, not to forget the Bibles, at a good price. How beautiful it will be to meet these people one day in heaven. Seemingly, rejected by society, but loved by Jesus.
“Every act, every deed of justice and mercy and benevolence, makes music in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds and numbers the performer of them with His most precious treasures. ‘And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, when I make up My jewels.’ Every merciful act to the needy or the suffering is as though done to Jesus. Whoever succors the poor, or sympathizes with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriends the orphan, brings himself into a more close relationship to Jesus” –The Review and Herald, August16, 1881
“Christ regards all acts of mercy, benevolence, and thoughtful consideration for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the sick, the widow, and the orphan, as done to Himself; and these works are preserved in the heavenly records, and will be rewarded.”–Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 512—513