A Belt, a Shirt, and Twenty Dollars
March has been a great month for evangelism. We have been able to share the Gospel in Athens every weekend with a lot of tracts being given away and many one-on-one conversations. There was also a lot of open-air preaching as the other activities were happening. For the last year or so as the sidewalks have been under renovation, so we have been sharing a corner with Ratio Christi. Ratio Christi is an apologetics group that meets on the campus of UGA. Mary and Rich Suplita, along with Seth, lead the group meetings on Monday nights. They usually come out on Friday nights with a few of the students and set up a whiteboard with questions that spark conversations. This is a great tool and it is always great to see these younger men out sharing the Gospel. Although we are not officially aligned with Ratio Christi, we do work closely together to minister on the corner.
Often we will get push back from people with their complaints being that we should help the homeless etc. These people typically fall into one of two categories.
- They feed the homeless or do some other sort of charity work thinking this somehow makes them acceptable to God.
- They do not lift a finger to help anyone, they just think we should. 🙂
In case you were wondering yourself, I want to share a little encounter we had a couple of weeks ago:
We will call this man Joe since I didn’t get his permission to use his real name. Joe was homeless and came asking us to give him $20 so he could get a hotel room for the night because he had been out on the street for a while and couldn’t wash his clothes etc. As anyone who has rented a hotel room knows, you’re not going to get a room for $20. His plan was to get the rest from other people. At least he didn’t ask us to cover the entire cost if that was his true intention. The man began to tighten up the clothes hanger he used to keep his pants cinched up saying he had lost so much weight that his pants were too big. One of us gave the man a belt and another brother literally gave him the shirt off his back, since he had two. He was informed about a church where he could shelter on their entry for the evening and get a hot meal the next day. We offered him food but he said he’d had plenty to eat and just wanted $20. He was also told about a shelter that he already knew about, but he had to arrive by 4 pm. One of our team members called the next day and set up for him to stay there that night but we do not know if he actually showed up. After all the kindness he was shown, he began to berate us for not giving him $20. I had to call him out on that and remind him of all the ways we had just helped him, emphasizing that one of the men had just literally given him the shirt off his back. He apologized and said he was just frustrated, which is understandable. I ended up giving him the $20 but reminded him it was God’s money and he was accountable to Him for what he did with it. The next day one of the ladies went downtown with a care package for him but could not find him.
I share this not to brag, but to illustrate that our team sincerely cares for people and their well-being.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Until All Hear!