The wind was the exclamation point on the chilly day. I hadn’t packed a jacket so I was thankful for my sweatshirt to help block the wind and the sun that randomly broke through the clouds to provide some warmth. My temporary discomfort and chill became insignificant as we drove up to the first stop to provide some temporary assistance to the homeless who had no refuge from the wind and the unusually cold temperatures for Florida and only more in the forecast. I had the privilege of serving along side the amazing Bautista Project crew that day (you can learn more about them at www.bautistproject.com). Every weekend they are downtown Tampa bringing packaged meals and enmities to the homeless on their route. Marla, Uilisses, and Hope know a number of these people by name. They know their stories, needs, and concerns. Each stop we were met by warm smiles, sweet conversations, and opportunities to pray with people. The hand out highlight on that Sunday was the hand warmers.
I’m sharing this experience with you as we begin to reflect on this week’s reflective focus the homeless and the hopeless. There is one thing I didn’t find much of that afternoon with the homeless community, hopelessness. Most of these people still have a spark in their eyes and warmth to their smile. They still have hope, which is not the case for so many people who are not homeless. It strikes me as strange.
How can a person who is living in such challenging physical conditions not be overcome by hopelessness? Only if they know where their true hope is found, in Jesus. Only then can they live like our focus verse for the week, Psalm 31:24Psalm 31:24
English: World English Bible - WEB
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WP-Bible plugin, tells us to live—-“be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord.”
I believe ministries like the Bautista Project strengthen the hope of the homeless. Their motto is “don’t trip, up lift”. They live it well as they love on the homeless, provide some basic needs, and advocate for them in the community circle.
Our challenge this week is to also be hope builders, right where we are. Pray about how the Lord would like to use you to encourage and inspire others to have hope in Christ. It could be as simple as reaching out to a friend or neighbor as big as partnering with a ministry or agency.
Please take a moment and share how you are sharing and building hope and other ministries or agencies that others can consider serving in.
The hope of Christ is for all and the eyes of the Lord are on all, especially the lowly spirit and circumstance. Remember not every homeless person is there by choice.
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Stay strong and live your true royal identity in Christ!
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