Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
The joke in our family is that no matter how well we plan, or make our list, we can never go to the store just once. A recent example in fixing up my son’s apartment happened when we needed to install some trim board. I went to a home improvement store and purchased the exact design. When I got back home, it was the wrong thickness. I went back to the store and got the right thickness. The first cut I made was too long. The second cut was too short. I went back to the store and got another piece.
Proverbs 19 is chock full of other important sayings like … Listen to advice (my wife would say: don’t grab the first thing you see and my son would say: measure twice and cut once).
Our Crisis Ministry volunteers hear stories from our neighbors whose plans were derailed by life circumstances and now they are turning to the churches – and God – for answers. We hear from moms that their kids are eating more, and they need help with food. We need our churches to help with food. Our downtown Crisis Ministry has seen as many as 70 families in one day coming in for food – on top of 120 homeless persons coming in for lunch. You can imagine how many thousands of pounds of food go out of our door in one day.
There are many groups collecting schools supplies but our families are also looking for clothes and underwear for their growing children starting school. ABCCM also needs your church’s financial support because in July, we have had 8 families who were going to be evicted. It is much cheaper to keep a family in the home or apartment they have – and can afford, than to have them go through eviction, the cost of moving and having to set up all the utility deposits again.
The ABCCM Pharmacy at 356 Biltmore Ave. is purchasing meds to help bridge the gap in medications for those in crisis. We work closely with other mental health providers in town like RHA, Family Preservation, October Road, All Souls Counseling Center and others to provide these medicines. You may want to consider having a medicine bottle drive. Ask everyone in the church to bring one of their medicine bottles – filled with quarters (possibly dollars) to help provide hope and healing for our working uninsured.
Our homeless ministries continue to serve those on the streets. We have had such a high influx in transient folks this year that we are also running out of basic hygiene items such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, razors, and other hygiene items. You may want to consider putting some of these personal kits of hope; or our women may want to put together ‘handbags of hope’ for homeless women and moms. We have a number of school-age children at Steadfast House and it is always helpful to provide some backpacks and school supplies. While we have a number of agencies providing them for our schools, we appreciate the thoughtfulness of offering these to our families in need. School supplies are a need throughout the school year.
Proverbs 19:14 says, “When we show kindness to the poor, we lend to the LORD.” When we go the extra mile while shopping for our own children or grandchildren’s school supplies; or shopping at the grocery store; or passing on great clothes and shoes that have hardly been worn, then we are doing more in caring for our neighbor – we are also serving God and His calling. There is a strength and peace that comes from that kind of loving our neighbor that does not come from any other place. As you read the other articles in this newsletter, we hope you might be inspired to volunteer and share a few hours or throw a little extra in your shopping basket to help our neighbors in need.
Reverend Scott Rogers