Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A life changed

The following was written by a dear friend from the Refuge:

The Monday Night Guys

In the spring of 2008, I lost my job and apartment and moved into a homeless shelter called the Refuge of Hope. That's when I met the Monday night guys. They are Christian guys that come down to the Refuge of Hope every Monday night and cook hot dogs or sausages and play cornhole with the guys that live at the shelter. They would ask how our lives were going and talk about God, Jesus and they would pray for those who needed prayer. In July I got a job, but in August some bad events happened to me and I lost the job that I had just got. I became mad at the world and gave up hope for God and quit praying. For a few weeks I didn't even go to the Monday night cookout.

When I started going to the cookout again I talked to the guys about how I felt and they asked me to read a couple of scriptures and pray about some things in my life. They asked me to pray about some things in my life for a couple of weeks and if things didn't get a little better they would leave things as they were. Well, things did get a little better and I now have hope again in God and I'm praying. Since then these guys started a Bible study after the cookout which I enjoy going to. It's not mandatory, but it seems like most of the homeless guys would rather stand by the door of the shelter waiting to get in, instead of attending the Bible study. Most of the people that go to the cookout seem to take advantage of these guys and are not there for the hope and prayer these guys want to give. It seems like they are only there for the food. These Monday night guys give up time away from their family to come down to the Refuge on Monday nights for the homeless. I thank God for knowing the Monday night guys and for giving up their time, hope and prayers for me and the homeless.

Zakowy

Monday, December 14, 2009

Us and Them...

We always do this. There is always an us and a them. The “us” feels like they could never, ever be the “them.” The question is, where then did the “them” come from? It came from the “us.” In terms of the homeless, there is no “them and us.” Their socioeconomic place in life, bears nothing on the fact that we are all made in the image of our Creator. We all fall short of the glory of God. None of us are righteous. We all stand on the same level before God. The same blood that was shed by Jesus Christ saves us all, if we have faith and believe that Jesus is Lord. So then where did this “us and them” thing come from?

First of all, I was here. I was an “us” guy. Don’t mistake my previous tirade as an attempt to say that I am beyond making such a distinction. I was unable to get past this on my own though. The world tells us otherwise, there are groups of people and often those groups are defined by economic lines. So I could not simply watch a TV special and suddenly know that the homeless are no different than myself. I had to get out of my house and meet them. Now I know that these men, whom I have the privelege of calling my friends, are no different than myself. Their flesh cries out for the same things that mine has the potential to cry out for. We stand equally before the Creator. We are both saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. They are trying to piece their lives back together and I am busy complaining about why mine is not quite where I would like it to be. But we are no different.

So, as the Body of Christ, what are we to do with the homeless, the widow, the orphan and slave?

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

We have all received the greatest mercy that can ever be.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:6


Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:12-14

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Streetlights

This video talks about what we do on Monday nights and how it has impacted some of the men involved.

Refuge of Hope: Streetlights from LoveCanton on Vimeo.

Hello Everyone!

Well, here goes...My hope for this blog is to be able to share the way God has impacted my life through the friends that I have made at and through the Refuge of Hope in Canton, OH. I would also like to bring awareness to homelessness in hopes that we, as a society might not try to "fix" it by throwing money at it, but engage it by giving ourselves over to loving people with the love of Christ. I will also be sharing the opinions, thoughts, stories and struggles of my friends from the Refuge. It is time for the church to get back to its responsibility to care for the poor, the widow and the orphan. We don't do that by complaining about what is not happening, we do it by loving people and getting our hands dirty! We, as the Body of Christ need to go beyond the streetlights and profess the hope that is provided in Jesus Christ our Lord!