Proverbs 10:25 When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
John 16:33 Jesus says: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Jesus said that in this world you will have trouble. We know that. What I can do is to trust in Him.
We were not expecting what happened in June 2009. Or were we? You see, although Dave loved the men he was working with at his job, other things were volatile. He felt as though God was telling him it was time to move on and start another ministry, but that was a scary thought. Instead, he stayed and was really having a difficult time. The job he loved was not the same. He really loved the men. They were like brothers to him. So, on Father's Day 2009, we decided to do something different. We had the men over here and loved on them. Many of them had a hard time with that day because their father's had let them down. Many were estranged from their families and their children. They had made too many mistakes and no longer were involved in their children's lives. This made Father's Day very difficult for them. But we wanted to help them to take that day back. We had a barbecue with lots of food, some went fishing, while others played yard games. But then was a time of prayer and reflection. We were going to pour into the guys. Instead, they poured into Dave.
One by one the guys told Dave how much he meant to them. There were tears and more tears. A graduate of the program came and he brought his dad with. The dad got up and could hardly speak. He told Dave how he couldn't believe the changes in his son. He thought his son was lost forever and now he was sitting with him. He cried and thanked Dave for loving and believing in his son. Another guy said he had never trusted anyone, especially a white man. But Dave broke that wall down with his brotherly love. Dave continued to give God all the credit. But then one of the guys said, yes this happened with God's help, but you had to say yes and act. You had to love us. He told Dave that he needed to accept this love the guys were giving to him. It was really neat. This was not what we had planned for this time, but looking back it was God's plan all along. Because you see, the next day Dave would go into work and be told that they could not pay his salary anymore. He was welcome to stay and raise his own support, but the pay checks would stop. There was a lot more that happened and we were very hurt. God knew this would happen and I believe that's why the day before had went the way it did. Dave would need that love and encouragement to get him through the next few weeks. The guys would need that to get them through as well.
This was a storm we were not expecting. Although we also ignored many things along the way. Looking back...we were acting out of fear. Fear of not having money. Ha, ha! Pretty ironic if you know our testimony. Yes, we slip back into things like fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not having enough money to pay our bills, etc. But once again, God is our provider. This needed to happen if Dave was going to do His works.
The month of June was a time of seeking the Lord. We spent a lot of time praying, talking, and seeking wise counsel. Once again we were back to trusting in God. It was a tough month. It seemed as though we had just "arrived" to our destination and now we were back on the move again.
July 2009 - On the way to the cabin, Dave asked me if I would help him start a non-profit to help the homeless. I didn't answer right away. Fear came over me. There's that word again. I sat there thinking. "I don't have time to help you start a non-profit. We don't have money to do that. How will this work? It will never work. I don't have time. Where do you even begin?" But louder than my thoughts I could hear God saying "With Me ALL things are possible." For hours Dave and I talked about what this might look like. We even talked about names. I actually started to feel excited.
Both Dave and I have had a heart for the homeless for many years. God had us on a journey to prepare our hearts for such a time as this. We were completely dependant on Him, which is exactly the way He likes it. Over the next month would be a time of preparation, research, and prayer.
We launched Breakthrough Ministries and started a blog. To read about the launch of Breakthrough, click here. We started out with a prayer meeting in our home. It was amazing! There were about 15 people there. Our prayer right from the begining was for God to break our hearts for what breaks his. For us to open up our eyes and our hearts to see and feel what He sees and feels. These people living outside, under bridges, in the woods, some in tents, some with nothing more than an old blanket. It's heartbreaking. What I thought I was going to see and feel through this experience was nothing compared to the real thing. I blogged about it here.
At the time, back in August I knew that my main role would be to pray, support and encourage my husband in any way that I could. I would help when I could, but this would become Dave's full time job. We were aware going into this that it may be months before he would ever take a pay check and we were ok with that. Right now, this would be a time to care for others and show them love. We do not work for the world, but we are working for God.
Here's one of the foundation scriptures for Breakthrough. This is what God has laid on our hearts and how can we ignore this. This is when Jesus is speaking about the final judgement.
Matthew 25: 31-46
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
A powerful passage that is. This may start out as an act of obedience for some. But as we've prayed for God to break our hearts for what breaks his...it's been amazing. How can I walk around here, living my life in my home, and yet ignore those who have nothing? How can we not show them the love of God? This was just something that I could not let go of. And although I work at a church and am in ministry already, this is different in many ways. This is going out and seeking those that have been tossed aside.
If you've read my testimony (Parts 1 - 4), you may remember how at first I wanted to be rich so I could help the homeless and then God told me that he was going to show me how I didn't need any money to do this. How true. God is faithful and he keeps his promises. Little did I know how this story, this journey, would unfold. We are now relying on God to show up, because this is not of our doing that this ministry will happen.
Fast forward to July 2010. It's been a year since we decided to start this ministry. We still fully trust in the Lord. He is our sustainer, our provider. There have been many obstacles and yet even more bridges bringing us over the obstacles. God is faithful, always. His loves endures forever. We can do nothing without Him.
If you would like to get involved in this mission, go to the Breakthrough Ministries website. There are many opportunities to help this cause. There are many people who not only don't have a home, but they don't have anyone to love them. We need YOU!