This is one of the places I went to give out sandwiches and Bibles, under an overpass:
This is my sweet buddy James that I got to see again today:)
In one place that I went, I talked to a lady who gave me a few suggestoins of where to look to volunteer, and I wrote them all down on a little piece of paper. Later last night, I was going to look up the places that she told me about, so I started looking in my pockets for the piece of paper that I wrote her suggestions on. I didn't find that piece of paper in my pockets, but I found a notecard that I had forgotten about. I read it and then remembered that it was a suggestion that Eric, a guy that works at East Nashville Cooperative Ministry gave me when I told him that I was going to Atlanta. Perfect!
So this morning I emailed Mercy Ministries, the place that Eric suggested, and right away, Chad, the guy in charge, emailed me back and told me to come over! I was so excited, finally a place that would take me! When I got there, I instantly knew that it was my Atlanta home! It was so much like ENCM, so I was in love! It's so crazy how I can see how God is putting everything together for me on this trip! Everything is so connected and full of purpose that I never could have put together on my own! Papa is cool that way.
Mercy Ministries is open Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. They start the morning with fellowship, a Bible study, and worship with volunteers and the homeless members of the Mercy family, and then they take food out on the streets to feed people on the streets. Today, I only got there in time for feeding in the streets, but I am SO excited to be there on Monday for the Bible study and worship! I love ENCM and Mercy so much because they aren't about people going there to "do their part" and check off a good deed box. In so many places, you go in, do your job of handing out food, then leave without ever actually getting to know anybody or even having a conversation. But at ENCM and Mercy, it's a group of equals spending time together. There's a feeling of community and family rather than a feeling of segregation that so many outreach ministries have. That's why I love these places so much!
Some of the Mercy people and I:
The guy walking in the back was posing haha he was hilarious!
After I left Mercy, I went out and found people. I drove around not knowing where I was going, but God took me to all the right people! He took me back under the bridge that I went to yesterday, so I got to see James again! He's such a happy guy, I love it! I love these people so much! One thing I've been thinking about today is how we need to stop seeing the homeless as a problem that needs to be fixed, and start seeing them as people that need to be loved. God doesn't care about social status, where we live, or what we wear, He just wants our hearts! And the hearts of people sleeping under a bridge are just as valuable to God as yours. Jesus didn't die just for comfortable Christians, He died for everyone! His love is such a beautiful thing that we should all be so excited about it that we can't be comfortable with just consuming it. Go ahead and share it, it's ok! It's not going to run out! And no matter how much of it you give away, you won't have any less, I promise! In fact, the more you pour out, the more filled you feel!
This made my heart smile! This is Jo, I gave him a couple sandwiches and a Bible, and as I was walking back to my car, I looked over and he was already digging into the word! So cool!
If you have been keeping up with my blogs, you might be sick of hearing this, but I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!
Oh yeah, and look at the awesome place that I hung out with Papa today! He just keeps reminding me that He doesn't care how much I get done in a day, He just wants me to walk in His love, wherever I am. My performance doesn't please Him, my heart does. He's so awesome! And He loves you so much!
Spending time with Him in His Creation is so fun:)