by Cynthia Massie — 23 February 2018
I was walking out of the Agape Center Saturday morning, laden with trays of mail when the doorbell rang. It was William — our homeless friend. Sam, a fellow Agape Center staff member, makes bags of food to leave at the front desk for William each day. But today, there weren't any left, so I took out a bit of cash to give him. Sure enough, he asked for his bag: "Auntie," (he calls all the women "Auntie") "you got a bag for me?" I told him no but gave him cash to buy food.
As I looked at him, I saw something sticking out of his pocket. I asked him if that was something to eat. "No, they're cigarettes." I immediately went into my "Mama" mode and scolded him for having cigarettes and no food. He hung his head as if embarrassed. He took my mail and helped me to the car and said, "I'll get something to eat." Whether he did or not, I'll never know. All of us at the Center know William. We care for him and we get frustrated with him. We're gentle with him and we're firm.
Homelessness is prevalent in our city — in our country. It affects people of every age and ethnicity. And God wants His people to do something about it. Why else would Jesus say, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."? And again, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did NOT do for the least of these, you did not do for me." Matthew 25:40, 45
A few weeks ago, Cru® Inner City in cities across the U.S. partnered with hundreds of volunteers and churches to pack and distribute thousands of Homeless Care Kits. In Chicago alone, over 100 volunteers and 37 Chicago churches took part in packing and distributing 800 of these kits. Each kit contains warm gloves, socks, a hat, scarf, and a thick blanket. The kit also contains toiletry items, snacks, and gospel material. When the kits are distributed by our church partners, they are equipped to meet a homeless person's emergency physical and spiritual needs. We are grateful to join with our partners across the city to help meet the needs of the least of these.
Cynthia Massie serves on both the national leadership team and the Chicago team for Cru's inner-city ministry.
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