Bring Me Christians, Save Me Souls.
These are the words of Bobby Hayden Jr. and Lexi Lee Laconi on their album, One Night in a Church for an Audience of One. I first heard these words, this song, in June. The words immediately touched my heart, because this is what I felt I was supposed to be doing with God Rocks.
This weekend, my family and I had the pleasure of joining Bobby and Lexi in Indianapolis, at Christmas Gift Indianapolis 2015. Their organization, Cardboard Box Ministries, brought smiles and hope to the homeless population in Indianapolis. Many blessings were bestowed upon the guests, and smiles were everywhere.
HOW DO WE BRING HIM CHRISTIANS?
By listening, loving and caring for others as Jesus cares for us. We spoke with Chad and Doug for about 45 minutes. Learned about their lives, and the events that have transpired that have left them living in shelters, without jobs, without hope.
Chad was in an accident that left him with memory loss. He lost his job, his home. He didn’t lose his life, and he told me that he knows God isn’t finished with him yet. He attends church when possible, and sometimes sings on the praise team. Life on the streets is hard. As he sat with me, he was showing the remnants of a black eye. He choked back tears, as he talked about his love of cooking and photography.
Doug is 42 years old and has worked in construction most of his life. As winter approached, construction jobs vanished. He has been on the streets for about 4 months. He also attends a church, but has been hesitant to get involved, fearing what people think of him.
I know that there are many sides to every story and know that there are more facts that have led Chad and Doug to the place they are today. They likely are not innocent souls who have ended up in shelters, but I do know that when people are shown the love of Jesus, lives can be changed.
We prayed with them, encouraged them, and listened. Listened. That is the key word. Doug thanked us for listening to them. Giving them a chance to talk about their lives. About their dreams. We listened to them, their hopes and dreams, giving them our full attention.
AND THIS IS HOW WE BRING HIM CHRISTIANS
I don’t think they often come across people who will talk to them and listen to them.
And then we met River John. River John is 70 years old and served two tours in the Vietnam War. He has children and grandchildren. About five years ago, circumstances put River John on the streets. He seems content, and said his children have tried to get him off the streets. He doesn’t seem to have the desire to change his living situation.
He appeared to be an educated man, stating that he had two degrees. I am not sure what has happened in his life, but he talked of Vietnam like it was yesterday, relating stories of the past as if they were current events of today. He prayed like an experienced man of God, so prayer and God are not foreign to him.
We met Betty who is 67 and her daughter Stephanie, who is 50. They are raising Stephanie’s 5 grandchildren. The children are a year apart in age, and range from just turned 12 to 7. We talked of the challenges they face, the lack of items to supply the needs of the children. Christmas will be just another day, without presents for the kids.
Cardboard Box Ministries was able to offer each guest new socks and shoes, new coats, warm blankets and sleeping bags. Daily toiletry and first aid items were available as well as haircuts and gently used clothing. They provided a warm meal, hot coffee and some items to take with them to eat later. A designated fun area was available for the children, as well as gifts, so that Christmas isn’t disappointing for the little ones. The atmosphere was loving and fun! The decor was elegant, and praise music was heard thru out the venue. Special attention was given to veterans, who have served so that we can live free. Prayer and bibles were available for all!
This was a birthday party for Jesus, and the gifts were for the guests.
I have had a week to remind me of how gracious God has been to me and my family. In my local community, I work with a great group of people who collect donations and gifts for families in need. Our resources are limited but thanks to the generosity of our community, many children will wake up on Christmas morning to special blessings.
We hear stories that make you cry, to be just a little more thankful for the blessings God has given us. We do this because we love to share Jesus with others, to offer hope in desperate times. There is no measurement to describe the look on a father’s face, when he sees the new bike and helmet that has been donated for his daughter. Or the tears that are shed, when a father tells you about his chemo treatment, and how he didn’t think they would be able to provide gifts for their kids this year.
The donors and recipients are all confidential. The gifts are wrapped and all the parents have to do is put name tags on them. The gifts are given in secret, so the kids don’t know that they didn’t come from their parents. The joy of knowing that there will be many smiling faces Christmas morning is the only payment expected.
We hug the young lady who is dropping off gifts for children. She tells us she is thrilled to be able to donate, because when she was growing up, she was an Angel Tree child. This is her first opportunity to give back and she is happy to be doing so.
We share Jesus, and offer prayer. We pray that by our actions we can follow the teachings of Jesus and
I have seen thousands blessed this week by the generosity of others. I am so thankful for the loving kindness of strangers, the hugs from those who have nothing more to give. I am truly blessed by these experiences.
God confirmed to me today, that I am doing what I can to with I am often led to give the God Rocks jewelry I am wearing to people that I meet. I did this awhile back, giving something to a stranger. Today, I was told that I have reached that person, leading them to turn to God. Something so simple, but with the ministry that God put into my heart, I am trying to Bring Him Christians.
As we start into Christmas week, remember to thank God for your blessings, hug your family, and treat others with kindness. Thank God for bringing us His Son and for the fact that Jesus died for our sins, so that we may have eternal life.
Have a very blessed Christmas week!