IN ALL ERNESTNESS


Outside The Walls
October 28, 2007, 12:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Taking God’s house to the streets…I read an article today in the Houston Chronicle (yes, I do read the paper and sometimes sections other than the sports and comics). As I was pilfering through the different sections the headline Taking God’s house to the streets caught my attention. I want to genuinely be Christ to others and I love to hear about others who are doing it, not doing “religion”, not playing “church”, but being Christ. So to say the least I was drawn by this heading. I wanted to hear more; know more. Who are they? What are they doing out there? Are they making a difference? If so, what can I do?

I long to be inspired by those living their faith out in a tangible way and loving God, loving people. Those who are willing to go beyond the pew, outside the walls, and into the world that needs love, compassion, and light. “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” -Jesus.

I definitely believe in the local church and its ministry. I believe in discipleship, worship, fellowship, ministry, and evangelism but when we can take those things to those in needs instead of always waiting for them to come to us, great things seem to happen.

Anyway, sorry for the rabbit trail and back to the article…7 years ago, Joe Williams of Joe Williams Ministries, began Street Reach, a ministry geared to reaching out to the homeless youth on the streets of Houston, America’s 4th largest city. He ministers to those who are too often forgotten and forsaken; those who we would rather look the other way than reach out to ourselves and show them the love of Christ. YWAM shortly joined in the efforts and partnered with Williams.

“This is church. We don’t have pews or stained-glass windows, but this is the house of God.” says Williams. “It is the house of God in a Montrose parking lot, open to those who live on the streets, in cheap hotel rooms, and abandoned buildings.” -Houston Chronicle.

Are they making a difference? I would dare to say so. So would Jason Healy who the Chronicle reports has been a regular at the street church operated by Montrose Street Reach since he lived at Covenant House, a shelter for homeless youth, five years ago. His wife, Elizebeth, was homeless when they met at the Street Reach. Healy has a job now, and the couple lives in an apartment with their 15 month old daughter. So would Carilyn Mallet. She is 21 and 8 months pregnant and living in a shelter. On Wednesday evenings she is able to let her guard down. “I don’t have to worry about being judged here,” she says. WOW! How many times have you heard someone in her position say that about church or Christians?

They are not alone. Kim Dale, who is with YWAM, estimates that Street Reach has helped at least 220 people leave the streets. “Some returned to their families, while others have entered rehab, job training or other programs,” she states.

Their purpose? “We try to make them see that we care about them as people, and that God cares about them. We try to show them Jesus in practical ways,” says Dale.

There is a quote from a minister who has helped in the effort that reads, “True Christianity is the front-line thing where you’re getting out there and getting your hands dirty.” Something to think about.

Are you willing to get your hands dirty? I am! Who knows, if you go to Montrose on a Wednesday night you just may find me and my bride there!

For more information on this ministry you can read more about it here.

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I can attest to the tremendous work the folks are doing in Houston. I have been to Street Church and met the young people who come every week to Street Church. Our church was so moved by the committment of Martin and KIm Dale we gave them a trailer to simplify the set up and tear down of Street Church. Our kids will never be the same after minsitering and working with the Dales and their team. As a pastor, this ministry inspired many from our church to get outside the walls of the church to reach others on their own turf! Keep up the good work!!!

Comment by Jay Lewis




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