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(Omega)

Helping the homeless and the indigent

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6 hours ago, (Omega) said:
If you do not have a ministry, I encourage to get involved in one, IF you have the time. We each have a Will that God has planned and purposed in our lives, and it is our duty to fulfill it. 
 

Thank you for your testimony and work. It was a blessing to hear how you are helping the homeless in a practical and spiritual way. May the Lord bless and help you.

As you said, there is a work for all of us to help others not only with physical help but help them for the salvation of the soul.  So often, there is a an underlying spiritual problem, or need, or sin, that is preventing folks from living a more fuller life.

Alan

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On 12/6/2017 at 9:59 AM, (Omega) said:
I am elated that the Lord has given me tasks to aid the homeless and the indigent. At times, I would volunteer at food banks here in Oakland, an example would be the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB). This mainly consists of packaging food (perishables, can foods, meat, fruits, etc.). I also minister to the homeless because I was once homeless myself for over a course of 10 years, so I can understand their plight and suffering, living on the streets of Oakland and San Francisco. San Francisco is a hot spot for homosexuality, it is almost like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, and ministering to them is an arduous task because sometimes preaching to them can lead to aggression and violent reactions; but I don't let that stop me. When I preach the Gospel to the homeless. I have a technique which is quite effective in ministering to the homeless. I would first ask them, "are you homeless?" If their answer is Yes, then I would respond by saying, "You know...I was homeless too for 10 years.", This piques their interest leading them to ask me how I got off the streets. I would then tell them about the awesome love of God and how he took a wretched drunk like me, and transformed me into a servant of the Lord. I would then hold their hands and pray over them if they desire. Works almost 100% of the time. I believe holding a persons hand in prayer is more effective than just prayer alone. There are also soup kitchens that are Christian based that I also volunteer at times. There is City Team Ministries here in Oakland, and a plethora of other Christian organizations that help the homeless that I volunteer at. There is no excuse not to minister to the homeless or those who are in need to be fed not just food, but the Word of God. As it is written: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt.4:4) This feeds their souls and incites their curiosity. This also leads to a discussion about the Bible, and we know that "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" (2 Pet.1:3).
 
There is NO excuse not to preach the Gospel to the lost, and that includes anyone who isn't saved; this also includes our family members. Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, "Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you're not saved yourself, be sure of that!" For me, family members are the most difficult to bring to Christ. My family consists of 3 brothers, a half sister, and my mother and father. I have ministered to all of them, and I have seen them grow in Christ over the course of several years, and I thank the Lord for that. Only my mother and my 3rd youngest brother are not saved. My brother Andrew has been brainwashed and put through the wringer by his wife. She is anti-Christian. She believes the bible is sexist and absolutely despises the Word of God. But even so, I pray for her salvation because I care. But God has gave me a promise that He will save my entire family when all is said and done. I was encouraged to share this with my IFB brethren and sisters in Christ here on this forum by another forum member. If you do not have a ministry, I encourage to get involved in one, IF you have the time. We each have a Will that God has planned and purposed in our lives, and it is our duty to fulfill it. 
 
God Bless,
Daniel

Great Christian work! I have been looking at the plight of the homeless in Ca. I can't believe Brown wants  more aliens when he can't take care of his own people.

I have picked up hitch hikers and witnessed to them and often bought them food for 52 years.

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Hi Eric,

That's great Eric what you do to help the lost and witness to them. Oakland is a city that is thriving in population and the number of homeless and the poor are decreasing due to gentrification. The cost of living is among some of the highest in the country so the lower and middle class are moving out of California and to other states that are more affordable and lest costly to live in. As a result, there are more homeless camps popping up around the city. Now ministries that used to shelter the homeless are charging fees to stay overnight in their shelters because the lack of donations and not enough Christians stepping up to the plate to support these ministries. My heart grieves over this because I was once in their shoes and walked in them. As laborers and soldiers of Christ, not taking steps to aid the poor and homeless is a disservice to God in my opinion, especially when the opportunity arises. However, there are some homeless who are complacent living on the streets and could care less if they get off of them. I pray for these men and women in hopes that God will plant a seed in their hearts so that they may have a change of heart one day.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

My job schedule has changed significantly so it is now more difficult to engage in ministries like I used to. I plan on retiring soon and devote more of my time to helping the homeless get off of the streets and minister the Gospel to them. Just feeding the poor and sheltering them is not enough. . . we need to tell them about the need for Salvation through Christ our Lord then the rest will fall into place. My journey from being homeless to a blood-bought believer didn't begin with just being fed, it began also by being told about the Good News of The Gospel and how it can miraculously change our lives around and actually have a true lasting purpose and meaning. I found the words of Jesus remarkable and awe-inspiring when I read them and began being obsessed with His Wisdom and authority he spake with.

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:32-33)

God Bless,

Daniel

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My friends nephew has a ministry in Los Angeles  where they help the homeless.    They not only feed them but they help them get a job.  They provide boxes for them to sleep in. Her nephew doesn't wear a suit around these people.  He drives an old car and dresses down.  They seem to relate to people that dress down.   Even though he is a preacher of a huge church in Los Angeles.  He lives in the area where the homeless lives.  He has an apartment there. He doesn't have anything special or expensive in his apartment.  He wants them to feel comfortable around him.    Over the years many have given their lives to Christ.  When I sang in my church youth choir when I was in high school.    We did a musical called Beginning Again.  One song we sang was called Come Down From the Mountain.  When I think of my friends nephew,  I think of that song.  He comes down from the mountain to help others and minister to others.  You should not be afraid of the homeless.   They need you.  They need a friend.  I real friend.   

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Hi Diane,

Thank you for sharing your experience with the homeless plight in Los Angeles. They too have a lot of homeless camps, almost as much as Oakland. I think the main problem with some of these ministries here in Oakland is that Christ is rarely, or if never, preached; and these are ministries that label themselves as "Christian" ministries. And those who engage in these ministries (for whatever their true purpose is) do a poor job by acting no different than the rest of the world. We are supposed to be the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13,16) and a light unto others who are stumbling in this world, and without Christ and the Holy Spirit to guide them. . . they are walking spiritually blindfolded.


There are several homeless ministries that feed the poor, shelter them, and help them get a job here in Oakland. Sadly, some homeless revert to living back on the street because the "programs" that shelters, feeds, etc., them are either not truly Christian based, or they don't exemplify a true Christian ministry. So I would take on the job myself to get these men and women of the streets. This happens "on the street" where I would meet them after the "Christian" based ministry has failed them -- but at the same time these men and women have free will and have to make their own decisions in life. Feeding them, getting them a job, and sheltering them, is not enough if the Gospel is not preached, because as I said before. . . this often leads them back to homelessness if they choose not to reach out to Jesus for Salvation and guidance. In the parable of the four soils, it is the seeds that fell among the ground and that took NO "root" (Matt. 13:21) are the ones who are offended and don't become truly saved.


Oakland is a city that is known for murders, drugs, thefts, prostitution, etc., and it is easy to fall to the wayside if you're not "abiding" in Christ. My former colleague's in ministry would be assigned to the individual homeless and to help them get off the streets.  What failed? Their "worldly" life has gotten the better of them (the ministers), and they're putting more time and effort into living worldly instead of doing the Will of God and helping the homeless. They are no longer in any sort of ministry and have fallen away. Where are the true soldiers of Christ? Where is the army of God when you need them? I am about to retire very soon and I am chomping at the bits so that I can devote my full time to true Christian ministries. We all want to hear the Lord say (..."Well done, thou good and faithful servant"...Matt. 25:21)

Some ministries feed the homeless after preaching sections from the bible. Then there's an invitation to come to Christ by repeating a prayer. Some of the homeless are too drunk to repeat a rote prayer and think that they are saved after saying verbatim what the Pastor says. This leads to false conversion -- let alone the man was inebriated. He leaves the mission and goes to the corner liquor store immediately after he eats and he is none the wiser.


Now sharing Jesus Christ is both a personal responsibility for Christians and also a special gift (evangelist) which are given by the Spirit. I have what I refer to "preacher mode", and "teacher mode". I preach the Gospel to the lost in need of Christ, and I teach the bible in bible studies to help them grow in the knowledge of the truth; but in either case, Christ ought to be preached. In fact, if our conversations with the lost has no substance and are flat in teaching on why Jesus came to this Earth, this at time only provokes rude reactions (such as casting pearls before swine), then a wise Christian ought to ask him/herself what they think they are doing.

If you are a mature believer with a good understanding of the gospel, God is very capable of putting someone He wants to hear the good news directly in your path.  But if someone is not mature and is engaged in weird behavior for the sake of trying to please some other immature believer who is all het up about this sort of thing, it would be surprising if God honors the activity overly.  But I do say along with Paul " What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice" (Phil.1:18) -- although I am not going to be preaching Christ from false motives or in ways I consider weird as I don't think it is a very good witness.

God Bless!

Edited by (Omega)
Grammar and additional info

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