Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Terrific Tuesdays

Tuesday nights have turned into "Terrific Tuesdays." Incredible ministry takes place every Tuesday night as we have our free health clinic for the homeless and Celebrate Recovery Inside. Spiritual and physical needs are being met in mighty ways.

The health clinic opens at 5 p.m. and that's where we minister to people's medical needs thanks to Dr. H.L."Chief" Lassiter and Dr. Steve Stokes giving of their time and medical knowledge, and the Alfred Saliba Family Services Center for allowing us to use their clinic facilities. We also minister to the people's physical needs by providing a hot meal, hygiene kits, blankets, gloves, scarves and more. And, we also offer prayer, and we have not had anyone turn us down.

Celebrate Recovery Inside begins at 6:30 each Tuesday night. We always have dynamic speakers sharing God's Word and/or their testimonies. Several people who have been through our CRI program have shared their testimonies and preached. That is great to see. We have great worship music led by worship leaders and Christian musicians from the Dothan area. We also serve a delicious meal each week at CRI. The small groups are very powerful, as are the prayer times at the end of each service.

It is exciting to see God touching so many lives in so many different ways. God is indeed doing a great work in the lives of the homeless, needy and incarcerated. We thank God for everything He is doing, and we thank all of the volunteers who make it happen. And we thank everyone who prays for Love In Action and who give financially. Together, we are reaching the lost and hurting with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you, and may God bless you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Escaping winter's frigid temps

Winter weather has set in here in Dothan, Ala. The day time temperatures are reaching just above freezing and at night the windchill is down  to 10-15 degrees.

Imagine spending these terribly bone-chilling nights in your car. The exterior of the car breaks the wind, but the cold seeps into the car like flood waters into a basement. You can't run the the car for long because you need to conserve gas due to no money to refuel. Soon the cold overwhelms you and there's no sleeping. Just trying to put more layers of clothes on your shivering body.

I met a young couple Monday who were in that situation. They were in their early 20s, but they looked like kids. No jobs, and therefore a lack of money, forced them out of their home into their car. Thankfully, we were able to get them off the streets. It's way too frigid for anyone to be outdoors at night, much less trying to sleep. With temps down to 20 and windchills 10, that's hypothermia weather.

Unfortunately, struggling to live in the cold is reality for many people throughout this nation. The homeless are seeking shelter, and when shelters are filled where do they turn? Cars, abandoned houses and buildings, tents ... any place they can get out of the wind.

Thankfully we were able to help this couple, and this winter we have been able to help the homeless and poor in Dothan with blankets, gloves, scarves, warm hats and coats. Anything to help people make it through another bitter cold winter.

Usually our winters are milder than this, but the past two winters have been among the coldest on record.

Thank you for supporting this ministry. Without you, we couldn't help people like that young couple escape this winter's deadly freezing temps. Your support makes an eternal difference too, for when we meet people's physical needs it opens the door to sharing Jesus Christ with them. And when they see we care enough to be out in the cold helping them, they are more than interested in what we have to say.

Thank you, and please keep praying for the homeless here in Dothan and throughout the U.S.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rick is a miracle

If you have never met Rick Denney you have missed out on meeting someone very special.

On the night of July 16, 2010, Rick was walking across the railroad tracks in Dothan, Ala., when somoene or several people came up from behind him, mugged and robbed him, and left him on the tracks. When Rick woke up he was underneath tons and tons of steel. "I wondered how I ended up under a train," Rick said.

A train ran over Rick and dragged him down the tracks. "I prayed and asked God not to let the train move," he said. Then somehow Rick pulled himself out from underneath the train and rolled down a hill. The train's engineer was afraid to get out of his conductor's seat. Engineers have seen what trains can do to cars that attempt fate and try to outrun a train. He was horrified at what the train did to human flesh.

Rick was transported by ambulance to a Dothan hospital. Amazingly, Rick would live. Both of his hips were dislocated, he had cuts and bruises on his head and face, and his left foot was badly injured. However, none of the injuries were life-threatening. That in itself was a miracle.

Rick called the next morning and told me what happened. See, Rick had been homeless in Dothan when I met him. He became a regular at Love In Action. We all quickly recognized that Rick was special. If he could just overcome alcohol, God could use him so mightily.

God did not make that train run over Rick, but I believe He allowed it to happen to get Rick's attention. Rick told me the morning of July 17, that the old Rick died under that train and the new Rick crawled out from under the train.

He spent about a month in the hospital, then the Dothan Rescue Mission opened their facilities to him. Rick found himself bound to a wheel chair, but he didn't let that slow him down. In time, he became a regular volunteer and soon became kitchen manager at the mission. He prepared food daily for lunch and dinner for the homeless and needy in the community.

This past Thursday he took another step forward as he moved out of the mission. I was privileged to pick him up and move him into a local hotel. He is now feeling the freedom of being on his own again, but this time it's different.

He's not drinking, and he's growing more and more in Jesus Christ. He is still a regular on Tuesday nights at our Celebrate Recovery Inside, and now he is a regular volunteer.

Today, Martha and I picked him up for church. He thoroughly enjoyed the service at Harvest.

Soon, we hope to have Rick in his own home.

Martha and I enjoy spending time with Rick. God's hand is truly upon him. He has such a gentle and humble spirit. We can't wait to see what else God will do in Rick's life. Please keep him in your prayers, and if you get a chance to meet him, take it. You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Health clinic continues to grow

The free health care clinic for the homeless continues to grow. For the month of December we saw 23 patients. Tonight, we had 14. That was the most ever in the short history of the health clinic.

Martha and I are so excited about the health clinic and how it's growing. People who don't have health care, and some who haven't seen a doctor in years, are coming and being taken care of. We cannot thank Dr. Lassiter and Dr. Stokes enough for giving their time and knowledge to help the helpless. We also cannot thank Jack Sewell of Jack's Drugs enough for donating much-needed medication. And, we couldn't have the clinic without the Alfred Saliba Family Services Center providing their clinic facility on West Main Street.

It's also great being able to help the homeless with hygiene kits, gloves, warm hats, blankets, etc. It's great seeing their eyes light up when we tell them we have those items. We usually have dinner for them as well. And, we are there to pray with them as well.

It's exciting seeing God continue to do amazing things in the lives of the homeless, and this is another way of showing them that God loves them.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year, a new chapter

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2011. Appropriately, 2010 ended with us moving out of our facility. To us it's an end of one great era and the beginning of a new one. One chapter closes and now God is ready to write a new chapter to the Love In Action book.

Our two years at the Love In Action Ministry Center located on the Montgomery Highway in Dothan were incredible. We saw God do so many wonderful things. Hundreds of people gave their lives to Jesus Christ, hundreds more rededicated their lives to Jesus, people were healed physically and emotionally, and Christians found their calling in ministering to the homeless and needy.

We began an incredible new outreach called Celebrate Recovery Inside where we reach out especially to the inmates of the Houston County Community Corrections work release. I want to say a special thank you to Emily Hinderliter and Tabernacle United Methodist Church. Emily is the CRI director and Tabernacle sponsors this amazing program.

I want to say a another special thank you to mine and Martha's home church, Harvest Church. They have been wonderful supporters of Love In Action in so many ways.

There are too many names to name. So many volunteers from so many churches have been such a huge part of Love In Action. Martha and I can't thank each of you enough. We could never do what we do without each of you. We need your prayers, your financial support and your time. Each of you have gifts and you have given them to make Love In Action so successful. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We thank God for each of you.

Now, as Love In Action enters our 11th year of ministry, God is starting another new chapter. We are in the process of purchasing our own building. We have never own a building, so this is new and exciting. With our new building in Dothan we will be able to do even more ministry to reach the homeless and needy in Dothan.

One thing we do need is a 3,000-4,000 sq. ft. warehouse in addition to our new ministry center. Being able to help people with items like furniture and appliances has been such a blessing. We won''t have storage space for furniture and appliances at our new building. If anyone knows of a warehouse that size available please let me know. You can email me at loveinactionministries@hotmail.com

So, it's a new year and we're entering new era. These are indeed exciting times. Though we currently don't have a building, it doesn't mean we are not still doing ministry. We will continue with our weekly Celebrate Recovery Inside and our weekly health care clinic for the homeless. We will still provide blankets, hygiene items, coats, etc. to the homeless, and more.

Please keep us in your prayers as we negotiate the purchasing price of the building.

Thank you and may God bless each of you and your families with a healthy, prosperous and Jesus-filled 2011.