DECEMBER HOMELESS OUTREACH|We shared the joy of Jesus’ birth and the good news of salvation Dec. 19 with those experiencing homelessness in and around Wildwood Park in San Bernardino, Calif.
As we looked into the eyes of the people who gathered there with us, we couldn’t help but ponder the rushed pace of holiday and outreach preparations, the gifts mounded under colorful trees, and the many emotions that roil within us this time of year.
All such thoughts faded when we spotted an aged couple, tears streaming down their cheeks as they sang the familiar Christmas hymns we played. For them there would be no lights, no decorated tree, no packages and by evening, no warmth except what could be found under donated blankets, jackets and bags.
Yet here they were, singing—with joy.
Perhaps the songs sparked memories of better days long past. Or possibly the Holy Spirit gave them a moment of rest and much-needed hope.
Afterwards they thanked us for the music, for the Word and the love shared, and for the donated items given. But, most of all, they thanked us for the visit. The gift of our presence with them.
And isn’t that what our Lord God did and still does today through Jesus?
Emmanuel. God with us.
The Word of God tells us that when we receive salvation, we are not only born anew but we also die to self so that it is no longer we, but Christ, who lives in us (Galatians 2:20). So, yes, we believe Jesus was with them—and us—in the park.
He’s also with you. Every day. And with all who earnestly seek Him.
It is our prayer that you will find quiet moments of rest this season to receive the gift of His presence and His peace.
Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters on the streets in San Bernardino. Thanks to your support and the Lord’s provision we were able to share blankets, sleeping bags, hygiene kits, food cards, water, raincoats, the gospel and new, gift-wrapped Bibles.
May the Lord richly bless you for your generous hearts. May He also bless all those who gave their time and their love to help and minister on Dec. 19 in the park. Our deepest gratitude goes out to you all.
Tony and Koren