While many Americans gather together in warm homes to enjoy a good meal or even a cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace this Christmas season – not everyone has the blessing of a safe place to call home.
In fact, an estimated half a million people in the United States are homeless- and while they feel “forgotten” – we know our Heavenly Father sees them.
One church decided to live-out the command to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Congregants joined with a group of police officers to do their parts in helping their community’s homeless – and just wait until you hear what they did.
Often, only police officers interact with a community homeless population.
Whether the officers receive a “loitering” call – or a “suspicious person” report – they usually deal with homeless individuals on nearly a daily basis.
Given the tension and wrongful animosity aimed at police officers these days, one church decided both to help the homeless and to bridge the gap between the homeless community and law enforcement.
A local church in Massachusetts spearheaded a backpack drive, stocking them with practical items such as a blanket, hat, gloves, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. – and of course – a Bible.
The church then gave nearly 200 stocked backpacks to law enforcement officers to carry in their cars – and hand out as they interacted with the homeless population.
Matt Whitacre, the Creative Arts pastor of the church spoke on the heart behind the mission.
The Christian Post reported:
“The idea is that officers will carry these packs in their cars, and when they come across or have a call involving someone from the homeless community, they can give it to them,” said Whitacre.
“This is important because it helps the homeless community know that people care about them and are thinking about them. It also helps build goodwill between the community and the police force in a time where it’s very difficult to be in law enforcement.”
What a creative yet practical way to help those struggling in their local community!
Not only are folks receiving practical items to keep warm in the chilly Massachusetts winter like hats, blankets, and scarves…
…but they are receiving the items in the name of Jesus – and each getting their own personal Bible.
Please consider: How can you help the homeless in your own hometown?
Pray about helping.
Perhaps you could volunteer at your local soup kitchen – and serve those who need an extra dose of grace.
Or you could purchase a few hot meals for the homeless you see out on the streets – and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them.
You could even work with your own church and local police department to organize a backpack drive in your hometown, providing necessities as well as the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those in your community.
And of course, pray – pray for those who are without a home. Some are caught up in addictions, while some struggle with mental illnesses.
Others suffer massive financial losses.
Pray that God will give them sound minds and will help them break free from their bondages of addiction.
If you’re looking to donate to those on the front lines working with the homeless – there are many ministries doing just that!
We can all do something to help those who lack necessities; pray that God will show you your role, as you continue to look for ways to help your community’s less fortunate.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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