At Northside we are committed to “GO share God’s love with others.”
While in Portland, my heart is broken and my eyes overwhelmed by the numerous men, women, youth and small children who live outside with limited shelter and lacking access to warmth, toilets, and basic comforts. I don’t know what transpired to lead to a home on the streets. Is it choice, a lack of financial means or necessary financial safety nets, abuse, mental illness (which is often compounded by addiction) or a lack of community?
Regardless of the cause, the life they live on the streets seems challenging, difficult, dirty, hard, shaming, complicated, isolating, and hungry. I’ve pondered, prayed, and wondered how I could share God’s love in tangliable ways with God’s children.
As I’ve struggled with how to most faithfully and effectively respond, I am grateful for the kindness, generosity and compassion offered by our United Methodist family to our brothers and sisters living outside. In our General Conference Exhibit Hall, I encountered the table pictured below. Children from churches around the USA shared their creativity and words of kindness and compassion. Then “Sisters of the Road” offered blue coupons to assist with purchasing a meal. Thankfully, I picked up cards and artwork with the attached coupons to share with God’s children in a manner that is empowering, dignified and compassionate.
Please continue to pray for those who live without shelter in Portland, Atlanta, and around the world. I also encourage you to find tangible ways to care for our friends on the streets. Northside offers great ways to show God’s love by feeding those who go hungry and without a home in Alanta, review the Northside Mission opportunies or contact Lynette Brown, Director of Missions, at LynetteB@NorthsideUMC.org to get invovled with organization like Trinity House or Covenant House.
Thanks for allowing me to “GO share God’s love.” May we all continue in this holy ministry of going, loving, and serving together.