I went to a conference this past winter break called Faithwalkers. The final message talked about was Finishing Strong, dreaming BIG, fighting the good fight, and persevering in faith! As we all went home with all of our knowledge (enough to cause an explosion) all our teachings, all our restored hope, I was left still thinking about the last message… “What are you dreaming about? What’s something big you want God to do?” I have been thinking a lot, and I hear about other people’s dreams they’re dreaming. No one said end world hunger, or restore world peace… no, they were thinking about what God has equipped them to do, to be apart of, and how God can involve them and make it happen.
What about me?
I felt sort of lost, and I was surprised. I had no dream to dream big of… no goal beyond my own aspirations of college.
Then I started to think of a conviction I had a little bit more. It was along the lines of “Love your neighbor as yourself” and my inability to do so on my own strength. I started to think about my disappointment with society and our inability to love our neighbors, to help when they need it. Who am I to deny helping people who need it?; especially when I’ve been given so much by the hand of God. I yearned for better character.
Then I went and saw Les Mis, a musical about a bunch of people who are stuck in low circumstances awaiting rescue from a higher society to proud to help the poor. Afterwards my friends and I walked out, she made a comment “I’m so glad life isn’t like that anymore.” I stopped and clarified, “Don’t be silly, it is.” The poor and homeless are still hungry, waiting for help…help of any kind.
The truth is, you don’t have to look very hard to find lost people in need, you just have to have the eyes to see.
You don’t have to travel to a foreign country to find people who need to hear the gospel (God bless the people that go!) because they’re everywhere, right in your neighborhood, right next door.
In my community, we are surrounded by people who go to college, get a job, and never take one look back. Those who have never noticed the homeless man who sleeps under the roof of the Hobby Lobby with his dog, yet they live on. Look at the life Christ lived! His ministry wasn’t for the righteous, it was for those who have nothing… no hope. He is hope to the hopeless. If we have the ability to care for others, we should… even if it costs us something. Christ gave his life, what will I give?
As I’ve spent time with a low-income housing community in Ames, I can’t even say I’m really doing anything there. If any impact has been made, it is by God alone… I just show up. I’ve put some money into it, I’ve invested time… but some of these people don’t have money to buy coats for their children.
I saw the homeless man sitting under the lean off of Hobby Lobby… how hard would it be to offer him a bed on which to sleep? That began my big dream.
I want to see all the homeless people in Ames, IA with places to sleep and food to eat. I want to see a community that is primarily made up of suburbs, a community that cares about the people who go hungry. I’m praying that God equips me to see that, and equips me with people who want to see that too. The thing that is beautiful about community is that if a lot of people even just gave a little, well that equals a whole lot!
Pray for me, pray for our community, pray that this can happen for the glory of God and his kingdom!
I would be nothing without the gift of life my family has given me and without His blood, my lamb.