harnessing the power of photography for good

Homeless Ministry

horton plaza christmas, take 2

 i was talking with my mom about what i saw at horton plaza on christmas day.  she commented that it seems like alot of groups come out in force during the christmas season, but who is helping the homeless the rest of the year. i mentioned that the san diego rescue mission has programs that help the homeless all year long, they also provide hot meals for other organizations that help the homeless.  but it was a valid question, with the salvation army hosting their annual christmas dinner that same day, and other groups doing similar acts of kindness around san diego.  

as i thought about the why, its a fairly uncomplicated answer.  this time of year brings the saints out of all of us, and a chance to help those less fortunate during the christmas season, isnt that hard to do.  as pastor miles says, even those who normally dont go to church during the year, will go or at least be open to going during the christmas and easter season.  and i think that carries over to folks being more willing to give of their time and money.  unfortunately, the homeless situation is a year round thang, and folks like the sd rescue mission are serving in season and out.

so does that mean we should be rolling out meals every weekend for the homeless?  maybe.  i know that God likes when we serve in areas He has gifted us in.  kind of like putting the square block in the square hole, easy.  ive been know to say ” the need isnt the call.”  Gods Word is clear, that the workers are few, theres always a need.  but i think that sometimes we can get “guilted”  or pressured into serving, because of the need.  but  i think that sometimes, we fail to do anything.  citing that God hasnt called me to do that, or i wasnt gifted in that area.  is it easier to serve where we are best suited to minister…without a doubt.  can God use us if we serve where we arent gifted to serve? certainly.  the important thing is we do something.   to do something that you love and are gifted in would be best.  but doing nothing would be worse.

do something big for His Glory!

Christmas at Horton Plaza

my family celebrated christmas together on christmas eve… which we have done off and on over the years, to allow my brothers to spend time with their wives families.  ive never really liked it, seems anti-climatic…come christmas day, all the presents are open, food is chillin in the fridge, what to do?

i talked with some friends who are part of the homelss outreach at the rock, they were gonna be downtown serving breakfast for some of the homeless, and they invited me to come down.  when i got to where they were gonna be, it looked like they had cleaned up and left.  there were bags of trash and a few folks relaxing, but no rock peeps.

so i prayed and headed towards horton plaza, its about 930am or so.  the joint was quiet, a few mall rent a cops, and some homeless folks, no mice that i could see.  then, around 10am a few cars rolled up, and a few more, then an rv.  folks started setting up tables, bringin out food and clothes…and the homeless started lining up.  as i wathced, i couldnt tell if they were with a church or homeless ministry of some sort.  after watching for awhile, it didnt look like a church group, but they were merry and joyful regardless.  they had lots of food, they were serving up christmas dinner.  looked like turkey, mash potatoes w gravy, rolls, some sort of soup, and cookies.  they were handing out socks and clothes as well.

i got to talkin with a young man named kenneth, who was living downtown, and was trying to get into the sd rescue missions program.  he told me he came to saving knowledge of Christ 6 months ago, and how everything just seemed to make sense now.  he told me how he asked God for a Bible and someone gave him one the next day, the exact Bible he wanted, a life recovery Bible. he quoted a few  verses to me with a big smile…

Matthew 6:25-34

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

as he held up the food he just received, he said “look, God provided a hot meal for me.”  i smiled back at him and wish him a merry christmas, and told him i hoped to see him at the rescue mission.   i am truly thankful for the blessings God has given me, and what i witnessed this morning, was a simple reminder of folks looking to bless others as they had been blessed.  as is the case more often than not lately, i ran into someone i knew who was part of the group blessing the homeless at horton plaza.  he told me it was a group of 5 families and friends who decided to do something nice for those less fortunate, on christmas day…this is their 5th year theyve done this.

thank you Jesus.

Rock Homeless Ministry at Balboa Park

the rock homeless ministry was out in force this past saturday, ministering in balboa park.  to see more pics from saturdays event please visit the rock website or just click HERE.