Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!!
Lets see where do I begin.....Gosh I have so much to say {surprise..surprise}
Last night I joined some of the girls from my connect group & experienced something so awakening!! I live on the out skirts of Memphis, Tn....about 30-40 mins from Downtown Memphis. Im sure most of you are familiar with Memphis whether its because of Elvis, Memphis basketball, or the CRIME we are known for. Im not sure the statistics but I do know that our crime rate is very high. I consider myself to have lived a pretty sheltered life. The town I live in is not known for crime & is pretty much considered a very "tight" small town. People complain about the police but I have grown to realize that because of them & their desire to keep our town safe.....crime is something I have not feared in my home or town. {yes, Im aware it happens anywhere}

So, with that bit of background.....last night us girls headed downtown to the Memphis Union Mission. In summary this is a place where the homeless {men} come to eat and sleep. I do not know all the rules & regulations but I do know that this is a place where the homeless can go to eat, sleep, shower, & be counseled. I had a few people tell me their thoughts & how unsafe this could be but I followed my heart and what God wanted from me. I can honestly say that I was hesitant but felt like this was something I needed to do. The past few weeks I have had several conversations arise at work about the homeless and panhandling. So, I felt like this was an opportunity God placed me with & I was ready to get out there and do my part!! When I walked into the Union Mission and realized I would be sitting hip to hip....elbow to elbow with a homeless man, it really hit me. It hit me that we are all ONE....ONE in Jesus Christ. We are all CHILDREN OF GOD! I am one bad decision away from sleeping on the streets. When I walked in and took my seat, the song AMAZING GRACE was playing. It took me a minute to adjust because I sat and watched the men I pass some days on the corner...hands high....belting out "My chains are gone I have been set free........My Lord has promised good to me.....unending love amazing grace", I was completely moved. The entire night was great! Bob's testimony was shared and it was so awesome to see men respond. Of course there were several that slept the entire time & they were probably waiting on pins & needles for us to hurry so they could rest their heads. BUT you never know when the one asleep will lift his head....remove the blind.....take off the earmuffs, & open his heart to what it is God is saying. These men are not there by CHANCE....they are there for a reason. I was there for a reason. I cannot express with words how much my sheltered little heart was touched last night. These men that I usually would find myself "avoiding" were smiling at me, waving and just simply saying hi! I do realize that some have mental illnesses and some are convicts but I also realize that God loves them and expects us to do the same. We cant save the world but we sure can start somewhere. This may have been my first Union Mission experience but I promise it will not be my last.

Thank yall for allowing me to share my experience. If by chance you live in the Memphis area, I HIGHLY recommend visiting the Union Mission & even take the opportunity to worship with these men. Since I am a girl, I am very excited to learn that there are specific shelters for woman & children. This is somewhere that I would like to get more involved with. I could have more one on one involvement with the ladies.

So with all this being said, I laid my head down last night and THANKED God for my blessings!

Matthew 25:37 (New International Version)

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?


Mandy said...

My small group goes to the Calvary Rescue Mission every other month to serve dinner to and worship with the men there. It is an AMAZING experience to see people who have so little by the world's standards praising God just for being alive and sober!! We always get so much more out of our visits than we give!

Clementsville: Population of 4! said...

so glad you shared this with us! I have never been but now after hearing your story I would love to go at some point!
Thank you for your inspiring words!

Candice Weeks said...

what an awesome experience! i will have to go wtih you sometime!!!!