‘Blessed is he who is kind to the needy.’ Proverbs 14:21
My church has a homeless ministry, for the ladies in our community who live at the women’s shelter. It has gone through a lot of changes over these few years, and has become well known as a local humanitarian effort, and is now an effective source of hope to those it serves.
Our ladies Sunday school class started preparing and delivering sandwiches and the like to our local women’s homeless shelter. They did it once a month, on a Sunday. They would work together in harmony and unity, enjoying not only the task at hand, but their fellowship. Their faithful work caught the attention of others, and soon a van ministry was created to bring the ladies to church on Sunday mornings. That change was followed by another one, and soon all the Sunday schools were taking turns fixing and serving lunch to the ladies before they were returned to the shelter after church.
Homeless men were not left out of the equation. Some other faithful members began preparing bag lunches each Sunday to take to the men’s shelter. This shelter is another ministry in and of itself, with programs to help the men change their lives, and their difficult situations. It is a fruitful ministry, much respected in our community.
My husband and I participated in the van ministry with the ladies. Occasionally we also picked up men who expressed a desire to attend church. And as the ladies were able to move out into the community on their own, we used an additional van to make sure they were still able to come to church. So our homeless ministry grew even more.
Today, our church now has a very nice and comfortable bus to be able to continue with the van ministry, and to be able to make the ride to and from church more comfortable, and easier, now that so many more people can be accommodated. This bus was donated to the ministry by a local car dealer, who had heard what was being done, and how, and decided to bless us with a vehicle that could handle the job. Not only did he donate it, he also had it reconditioned and painted with our church’s information on it.
As the ladies moved into their own homes, it became difficult to always be able to give them start up furniture, appliances, and household necessities. So people began donating. And now, there is a warehouse that can hold all that has been donated, provided at a very low cost to our church.
Add to this the fact that we did not have a big enough truck to move the items in one trip, or two. Many church members would use their personal vehicles to help someone move. However, another company in our area donated a box truck. They had heard of the good work being done, and of the struggles our folks were going through to move the ladies into their new homes. So they donated what was needed.
Kindness makes all the difference. When people have genuine kindness in their hearts, they will step up when they can and provide, assist, and personally become involved when they see a true need that they can meet, or help to meet. Kind people want to give. They want to be of service. They want to be like Jesus.
We have heard the saying, ‘random acts of kindness’. When you are a Christian, your acts of kindness are anything but random. They are deliberate, intentional, and blessed by a God who is kindness Himself. True kindness is extended to all, not just to fellow Christians. It is shown to those who need help, and who find themselves in situations they can’t change. But kindness can bring the changes they need. Just as Christ will hopefully become all they need, because of the love and care they have been shown.
‘As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.’ Colossians 3:12