Sunday, May 3, 2015

Homeless man helps food pantry 

Love In Action’s food pantry recently dwindled down to one can each of soup, diced tomatoes and cranberry sauce. Serving 30-plus families a week, it was obvious those three cans wouldn't go very far. We needed a fishes and bread type of miracle. Jesus answered our prayers, but not in a way we expected.

We received a number of wonderful donations of food from people who saw our post on our Facebook page, and our pantry started filling back up. Then, this past Friday the unexpected happened.

A local homeless man who we have known and served for the past couple of years showed up with a large amount of canned food to donate to our food pantry. Talk about shedding some tears. He was a man who we see nearly every week who comes to our ministry center to take a shower, eat lunch, get a bag of non-perishable food and have his laundry washed. He came Friday, not asking for anything, but rather seeking to help us.

That blew us all away. He had received some money and found a ride to the store. Instead of spending his money on himself, he chose to give to a ministry that has helped him in many different ways.

This homeless man is one we have been working with and praying with for a long time. Anyone who has ever done this kind of ministry understands there are times when you wonder if you are making an impact at all in some people's lives. You pour and pour into their lives, but you don't see any signs of them receiving anything. Often you see things to the contrary.

But on Friday, God showed us that His message was getting through. On Saturday the man was back for a shower, laundry to be washed, lunch and some food for the week. He said it felt good to do something good. Then he joined in on a powerful time of prayer and talked about how excited he was about church the next day.

God is working. He always is, even if we can't see it at times. We are all greatly humbled by this homeless man's actions, and we can all learn a great deal from this unexpected donation.

No matter what's going on in our lives, or how tough we think we have it, God can still use us. In the U.S., it doesn't get much tougher than being homeless and without hope. But as we saw Friday, even in that tough situation, we can still be thankful to God and give what we have to help someone else.

God has so many ways of showing us that, and we praise Him for the opportunity to serve the homeless here in Dothan, Alabama. He affords us the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people.