Christian Living

The Homeless Problem

I’ll never forget the time Heather and I took a little trip with her parents, Melvin & Martha, to Savannah Georgia. That city was beautiful and I fell in love with the south all over again. There was one problem. In the downtown district there were homeless people everywhere. I grew up in Las Vegas were we’ve learned to keep our homeless out of sight as much as possible. I remember the judgmental, critical and pharisaical thoughts that ran through my head as I passed one smelly man after another. Oh, how far above them I really was.

I was walking out of a chocolate shop on the river walk when I saw a homeless man approaching my father-in-law. Melvin was minding his own business, sitting on a bench, and looking out into the river when suddenly the man tapped him on the shoulder. My heart began to speed up. Would I have to defend Heather’s dad from a knife wielding psycho? Would I have to karate chop a complete stranger? Would I turn the other way and run for my life leaving Melvin to his bloody fate? When I got to the bench I saw my father-in-law handing the man a twenty and muttering something about the love of Jesus.

But for the Grace of God

Do you know the difference between that homeless man and me? Nothing, really! Except, for whatever reason, God has shown me grace. God allowed me to be born in the family, country and year that I was born into. God, by His grace, allowed me to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ that gave me hope for the future and a personal relationship with God that has guided me and directed me in my dark moments. For some unknown reason God has been gracious to me. And if you are reading this, God has been gracious to you too. Pride would say, “But you’ve made wise decisions, and you’ve worked hard.” But it was the Lord that have me the strength to work and the access to wisdom in order to make some right decisions. It’s even been His grace that has kept me from the full consequences of my MANY wrong decisions. What my father-in-law knew that I had to learn was that, but for the grace of God, that could be me. Ephesians 2:4-9

What are we Going To Do?

At Southern Hills we are done ignoring the homeless problem in our city. We are choosing to take seriously the commands in Scripture that teach us to reach out to the poor and needy and reach them with the truth. This year we have combined forces with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission (www.vegasrescue.org) to help our city’s homeless. We desire to meet their physical needs and spiritual needs. In preparation for our mission’s conference Heather and I have led groups from our church down to the Rescue mission to serve dinner, lead worship and preach in the services. We, as a church, have committed finically to monthly support of this very worthy cause and have scheduled multiple nights over the next 12 months that we will take dozens of church members down to minister, serve, perform, sing and preach. Our entire church staff is on board and have served in this shelter. Our entire deacon board, including spouses, have all served and ministered to these dear people.

This sunday I will be preaching a sermon entitled: Helping the Homeless! I hope that you will come and see what you can do to help us help them. Why? But for the grace of God, it could be you too.

Would you like to help as well? Are you not from Southern Hills and would like to know what you can do to help? Comment or question below:

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Alan
    September 20, 2013 at 11:46 am

    In America I find it hard to give to many that call themselves homeless are pore. Most I run into are self inflicted by drugs are alcohol. Some are mental eel, and some runways. I have found out over the years not to support their problems, this is wrong. But I do believe in supporting shelters that can provide help for them. Help to overcome their afflictions and traps that Satan has left them in. Just handing money to a beggar is not the answer. I do run into family’s here in Vegas that I do stop and help, some times you can tell that they need help now. Some people may lie to you but it takes good judgment and some times I am not always right in that judgment. We can only try with a good conscience. If I gave to every beggar I rain into I would half to start begging my self. It is hard to know if you made a bad call. That is why I am in to supporting Christians that do on a professional basses working in shelters in the name of Jesus. For real help must start with the inner man in Christ. Real charity brings change and hope to overcome the problem.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Alan – Thank you for your comment. I agree that sometimes it is just so difficult to know what is true and what is a scam. This is why I love the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. They not only focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they are able to take an individual who is struggling and, through a 12 month process, see their lives transformed into a productive member of society. I will be detailing this process this sunday in church. Can’t wait!

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    RudolphCarli
    April 12, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I don’t care about this, i quit my day job and make money online, around $2900/month,
    how? Just google this – rilkim’s tips

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