There is a coalition of churches in the San Gabriel Valley that work together to provide Winter housing for those experiencing homelessness in their community. Each church takes turns hosting for two weeks. They provide cots and meals from December 1 through the end of February.
Robert Brandt is a well educated man who drank himself into business failure, separation from family, and eventually homelessness. Then he found redemption at the Union Rescue Mission. He graduated this past year and now works at the mission.
David Evans has been injured deeply in his life and turned to alcohol to medicate his wounded heart from the loss of his wife. David is graduating in one week. If you call the mission he is likely the one you will hear on the other line.
(David Evans - Left, Robert Brandt - Right)
I asked both men to come with me to help encourage these marginalized men and women who need to meet Jesus and find hope. Both Robert and David agreed to come with absolutely no hesitation. They want to help others. That is a common theme for our program graduates.
All three of us worked the room talking individually to as many as we could. Then we got the microphone. The introduction was simply, “What are you going to do tomorrow?”
After I shared the many services that the mission offered I addressed the fear they all had… who wants to go to skid row? That’s the end of the line. What if we get stuck down there? Is it safe? Will it work?
Then I handed the microphone to Robert and David. They did a fantastic job sharing their stories and highlighting the transforming power of God. I was so impressed with how readily they talked to individuals and how naturally they shared God’s story in their life. Both of them sounded more like preachers than men who had been living without hope not too long ago.
The next morning 14 men and women got off the vans and entered the mission, grateful that we gave them an opportunity to find hope for the future at the URM. David and Robert were as happy as those checking into the mission!
I got a phone call yesterday. It was a gentlemen I had talked to that night. He asked if the offer was still open… #15. Please pray for these 15 souls who happen to have bodies needing both material and spiritual provision. And please pray for Robert and David as they continue to see God’s redemptive work in and through them. Their request is that God will use them to save others from the horrors of homelessness and the loneliness of not experiencing Jesus’ incredible love.
- Pastor Dan
P.S. - Thank God and each of you who donated to help Myra. God has provided the funds necessary to create a two-day trip to Disneyland for Myra, her sister, and her eight year old daughter. They are going this coming week. Myra also wanted to express her deep gratitude to strangers who would step up and make her dream come true, but also for the numerous cards and notes she is receiving. It is giving her joy in Jesus. TY so much for responding to God’s promptings and making a difference in their lives.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!