Sunday, March 6, 2011
We all met at 1:30 pm today to serve the homeless a meal in downtown St. Paul. We arrived to find another Christian group already providing hot soup to a large crowd. I immediately started to thinking about how much work Todd and Terri put in as they prepare this food at their home for every outreach event. It is no small task as they prepare enough food to feed between 200 – 300 people. But Tom Mckenna wasted no time in praising God for the extra provisions. He always sees the bright side. Our core group of outreach volunteers were all there today. That included – Tom and Becky, Tom and Jessi (less Shannon, Brendon, and Kali), Todd and Terri, Todd & Bubba, Amy, Matt, Pete, and myself.
Today we were excited to meet and greet the group from Faribault who attend The Crux church. This group included Dave, Jim, John, Billy, Janel, Deb, and Kelly. The story about how we got connected is simply a God appointment. Back in September, Breakthrough hosted the Breakthrough Family Festival in Faribault Minnesota. As we were advertising for this event in Faribault, Pete and myself went into this church which is right in downtown faribault. It is a very unique church as it sits right in the middle of the heart of the business community in an old warehouse style building. Anyway, we met with Pastor Paul and he told us how God had provided for this church and the brief history of it. If ever in Faribault I would highly recommend visiting this church.
As some people may remember, we did not have a high turn-out for our family festival. I suppose to most anyone who would have attended it, they probably would have considered it a failed event. It sure felt that way to me, but we recognized and spoke of the fact that God was up to something here. Why else would he have had us drag ourselves down to a beautiful golf course in the middle of a corn fields?
This event produced a majority of our core outreach volunteers which would include – Tom, Jessi, Shannon, Brendon, Kali, Todd, and Terri. And now it produced the opportunity for a group from The Crux church to prepare for an oversees trip to Haiti.
When the group from The Crux arrived we pulled together tight in the Holy Huddle and prayed for God to lead our paths making the ground we would walk on this day Holy. We sat down for introductions and I shared the vision and mission of Breakthrough with them while the crew set-up the serving line. After some instruction and our prayer walk around the “tear drop” we put them right to work. The are naturals! They served close to 100 people and had a chance to talk with some experiencing homelessness.
While The Crux crew was serving Pete and I had an opportunity to spend some time with Dan and Mike. These are a couple of talented guys who until recently were working in the construction industry. The work for them dried up and as a result they are now homeless. We talked about some opportunities they are coming up with and about how Breakthrough could help. We prayed with them and ask that if you are reading this that you would come into agreement with our prayer for favor in their lives.
I also had a chance to get to know Amy. She is a volunteer with Breakthrough now who felt God nudging her to start collecting items for the homeless. She explained how she felt that after doing this that she needed a ministry that she could connect with to help her distribute these items. I first met her early in February at Carbonies where we were having a spaghetti all you could eat fundraiser. Since then, she has attended a couple of our outreach events and provided supplies such as blankets and clothing.
After about an hour we decided to go out on the trail to see how some of our brothers and sisters live. Our core group of outreach volunteers stayed behind to man the serving line while Pete, Matt, Amy and The Crux crew went out on an adventure. Generally, we never know what or who we will come across. Today, we went to a bridge that has been frequented by people seeking shelter. This is a place that is off the beaten trail and requires about a mile of walking. There was nobody there, but The Crux crew was able to see a place where no human should sleep but often does.
We also went to “Charlie’s” place. Charlie is a man who is generally recluse and likes to be left alone. I have been visiting him for almost two years and have only seen his face once. Charlie lives in a “fort” which is made up with a few pallets and some tarps. I usually approach Charlie alone and announce my presence. I yell out “Charlie, it’s Dave from Breakthrough here to pray for you”. If he is “home” he usually replies by simply saying “Hi Dave”. When we are done praying he usually just says “good bye Dave”. Charlie has told me he doesn’t like people and that is why he is where he is. But he also says he appreciates our prayer, so we keep coming.
From there we went back to the shelter. The core group of outreach volunteers had packed up and were heading home. We gathered together with The Crux crew and prayed specifically for their trip to Haiti. We also prayed for Pastor Paul and The Crux church. If you are reading this would you please come into agreement with our prayer for favor for these people?
I want to thank the core group of outreach volunteers as well as our new friends from the Crux church. We were delighted by your presence and look forward to see how God will work us together again.
Please pray for Tommy. He is a homeless man staying at the shelter who we have gotten to know well. Todd “Preacher” Finney really knows him well. Tommy had some problems as we were leaving and ended up in the hospital with kidney and gull bladder problems that may require surgery. Please pray for a speedy recovery.