40 day fast.

July 22, 2008

This will be my contribution blog to the 40 day fast. My blogging partner today is Annie. Go check out her blog here. A very special thank you to the Inspired to Action folks for letting me be a part of this!

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to go with a church group to Atlanta, GA to be a part of a weekend in downtown working with Church on the Streets. Church on the Streets is a ministry to the homeless of Atlanta. Atlanta is within the top five cities in America with the largest homeless population. Church on the Street ministers to the homeless by feeding and clothing them, offering spiritual direction, connecting them with local churches, providing pastoral care, and much more.

Our weekend started by working and cleaning at a homeless shelter where we met many of the staff members as well as the tenants. Something that is important to remember is these shelters are emptied every morning and then opened up every evening. So, while they provide a place to sleep…it is not a place to live. To say this was a humbling experience is a huge understatement. I have been in Atlanta many, many times but had never seen first hand what a huge need there was.

As for me, the biggest and most important part of our weekend was the Saturday night worship service. Church on the Streets basically opens their doors for a worship service for anyone on the streets who wants to come. Before worship started, we handed out clothes to well over 300 people. Then came the worship service followed by supper for all who attended. In a small chapel, we crammed all 300 people and had church. This service will be something forever etched in my memory, and I will never forget it. I stood there in the middle of people singing, dancing and praising God…99% of which, were homeless…the other 1% was the staff and volunteers. I cannot explain to you the impact this one night had on my life. The most memorable moment for me was the prayer time. I watched a man stand with many others and pray “Thank You Lord for Your mercy…Thank You Lord for being so good to me…for blessing me!” WOW!! Here was a man who had no home, had no idea where his next meal would come from or where he would sleep that night, and he was thanking God for His mercy on his life. I was blown away and have never forgotten it. Whenever I am stressed about trivial things like paint color, what clothes to wear, where to eat…I think of this moment and hopefully pipe myself down and realize where I am and where I could be.

Church on the Streets is a wonderful place to volunteer and makes a great mission weekend for any group. Get everyone involved! Collect clothes, bottled water or whatever you can think of, and go be a blessing to someone who needs it. For more information on how you can volunteer or take your group to Atlanta and work with Church on the Streets, click here.

You can also help by giving to this wonderful ministry to enable them to keep doing a wonderful work of God. This ministry operates and survives solely on the donations of individuals, groups, churches and organizations that partner with them to support their work. Click here to help.

One day with this ministry can be life changing for you and hopefully a homeless person who needs ministered to. Please pray for Church on the Streets and how you may help.


6 Responses to “40 day fast.”

  1. annie Says:

    Sounds like an amazing ministry and experience, Joel.

  2. euphrony Says:

    Joel, thanks so much for highlighting the homeless in our own backyard. It is too easy to overlook the need at hand and become focused on the needs around the world. I’ll pray for Church on the Streets and for you today.

  3. One Old Dude Says:

    Just like everyday, I’m thinking about you and praying for you today!


  4. thisiskristin Says:

    wow… sounds like a great organization. Thank you for posting about it, and being a part of the 40 day fast!

  5. […] 7/23 | HEART | Church on the Streets […]

  6. When I was in college I did a poverty simulation weekend. We had to sleep outside, find our food and try to stay warm. It was such a humbling experience.

    Thank you for highlighting the needs of the homeless…

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