This week's story of the street comes from Diana Clay who coordinates our outreach at Unity Park in Fort Worth. Each week "Stories from the Street" shares a story about what God is doing with our homeless friends in Fort Worth.
My family has been going to Unity Park for almost a year now, and it’s been quite the experience. I have learned so much about our homeless friends since we started hosting volleyball tournaments and I wanted to give you a glimpse of what God is showing me each week.
I remember the first time we went out to Unity Park I was encountered by an elderly man that looked like he hadn’t brushed his hair or teeth in a long time. He reached into his pocket, and he handed me some candy and told me to give it to my kids.
Feeling guilty to take anything away from a homeless man, I said “no thank you” as politely as I could. But he insisted that I take it – repeatedly. So I eventually caved, I took the candy and said thank you. It gave him so much joy giving candy to my children.
But that’s not all. In the last year, I’ve been given something from a homeless person almost every time we go out there – food, socks, toys, books, clothes, just random things like that. And maybe sometimes it’s because they don’t want the item anymore, but more often than not, they just want to bless my kids and me and that’s all they have to offer.
I have seen many times where they share what little they have with each other without hesitation. And I just think that’s so beautiful and so convicting to my heart. And it challenges me to be more like them, to hold onto what I own loosely, because ultimately it’s not mine, but the Lord’s.
My other realization is that I’m starting to believe all of those verses in the Bible about the poor are not just words. These words are actually true!
Jesus continually challenged others to care for the poor and He himself constantly met their needs throughout his short time here on Earth. The more I hear the stories from the people we meet at Unity Park, the more I’m convinced that the Lord really does care and comes through for those in need.
I’ll never forget talking to a woman over the summer who had just gotten out of rehab. It was so hot and she had nothing but the clothes on her back...no hope of finding food or water. When she had finally given up hope, she cried out to God, and then lay on the dirt because she believed that at any moment she would die of a heat stroke.
Then out of nowhere two construction workers appear. They let her sit in their truck to get out of the sun, and gave her water until she was ready to go on her way. She believed these were angels sent from God because if they hadn’t been there right at that moment, she would’ve died.
I’ve heard other stories from our homeless friends where the Lord has shown up in a big way. God truly cares for those who are the poorest of the poor. He hears the cry of their hearts, and I want to care about what Jesus cares about too.
Each week several people part of COAH Missions goes down to Unity Park in Fort Worth to put on volleyball tournaments for our homeless friends. Here is how you can be a part of what God is up to with the homeless in Fort Worth.
1) Join us one Saturday morning at Unity Park...you can play volleyball, pass out drinks, or just hang out and talk or pray with our homeless friends.
2) Consider helping out by making a donation to the homeless through COAH Missions. We give out $60 per week in gift cards. Any donation made goes directly to buying gift cards and supplies for use in Unity Park...or better yet, buy a $10 Wal-Mart gift card and come join us one Saturday morning. Visit our "GIVE" tab above to make a donation.