APRIL HOMELESS OUTREACH | Our outreach at Wildwood Park in San Bernardino brought new friends into our lives, a surge of hope, and a multitude of unexpected blessings.
It also presented a few surprises.
Church in the park started with a sudden dousing as a nearby sprinkler crackled to life and sprayed water over the praise team and equipment. Thankfully a quick-thinking brother living in the park leapt to his feet and contained the stream, allowing the water to still flow but not assault people or electronics.
Seven people joined us and about a dozen more filled nearby picnic tables to listen while Tony gave a message about God’s love and what it means to follow Christ.
Throughout the service, volunteers prayed for and with people and together we studied the Word. We received an unexpected blessing from Greg and Valerie, who dropped off an abundance of produce, chips, and drinks from their food ministry. Thanks to their generous gift, about 20 people living in the park would go to sleep with full stomachs and still have some food for the week ahead.
We also gained new friends—Charlie and Jennifer—a couple experiencing homelessness that later joined us on Sunday for church service at Selah Christian Fellowship in Crestline. (Thank you, Brother Joe, for giving them a ride to church!) They are now pursuing the resource leads we provided for potential transitional housing and plan to join us on Sundays for worship at Selah.
“See, Margie, I told you not to give up hope. God always comes through.”
After service, even our “picnic table” participants drew near to meet us and to learn more about the ministry we were doing in the park. Most were genuinely encouraged to know that there are people who care about them—and one women even stated to another, “See, Margie, I told you not give up hope. God always comes through.”
Along with the food that Greg and Valerie provided, we distributed 15 food cards, 15 hygiene kits, eight Bibles, water, toilet paper, laundry soap, and clothes—including brand new shirts, underwear and socks.
We also received a blessing as we watched how the people shared the food and supplies with each other and only took what they needed. At other parks, we’ve seen people fight over the smallest items, and it takes much time and prayer before things change. But that day in Wildwood, we saw a glimpse of heaven. We couldn’t shake the feeling that Jesus had arrived ahead of us to sow seeds of grace.
Only later did we learn that our Lord had used Charlie and Jennifer to start this outbreak of love days earlier by sharing food that they received from a local food bank with others in the park.
Thank you to volunteers Paul, Christine, Robert, Hap, Joe, Daniel, Greg and Pastors Jason and Yvonne Lewallen for your help, prayers and support at Wildwood Park. Thank you Gideons Lake Arrowhead Camp and all of our prayer warriors for your continued support of this ministry. May God bless you all!
Tony and Koren