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10-11-16 01:12 PM
Charles It seemed obvious that Jesus meant us - all his people and my wife and I in particular - to help people in need. It's a tradition in both families. If grandma had only a small pot of beans and a pan of cornbread and someone came to the door hungry they ate first and somehow there was always enough for all of us too. But more than that Jesus is very specific that what we do for "the least" we do for him and what we don't do for them we deny Him. Not sure I could get any enjoyment out of a meal if Jesus was standing there in front of me going hungry. When we moved to NE GA God gave me one direction "Help Mervin." Mervin was an older lady who helped people in many ways including food. At that time she was head of the outreach (benevolence) program for the church we attended. So we helped Mervin and when she was no longer as involved in that we did it. Until the week that an elderly couple whose home we passed on the way to church were robbed and even their food stolen. Their neighbor also a member of that church asked us to take them food and we did only to catch heck at church because they lived outside the county where the church was (so did we so did their neighbor and about 1/4 of the people who went to church and paid tithes there). At least 20% of the people then attending had been reached through the help program originally and had learned grow and to give. There were a lot of words in my mind but the only ones God let come out my mouth were "We'll do things a different way."

In the next 2 days we had calls from 3 people not affiliated with the church offering food help for "Your Caring Hands Ministries" A lot of food. It finally dawned on us that God was establishing a new ministry and had named it Caring Hands. He told them before He told us or at least before we heard Him. Over the next few months He made a way to help with more than food things like rent and power bills tires so someone could take a job etc. We were having a hard time ourselves but there was always a way to help people.

My wife was a welfare caseworker for years and later worked as senior caseworker for Red Cross Disaster Services ad Armed Forces Emergency Services. So things like verifying needs and making payments directly to the vendors came naturally to her. We were and are a volunteer ministry. God gives discernment too if you listen. Right now we serve people in 6 counties in the southern tip of Appalachia. Most of our support comes from local businesses and from grants. A few churches help too. Appalachian Hope Center grew out of Caring Hands because so many said they did not feel accepted in local churches and we believe God welcomes everyone to His fellowship and offers each on the opportunity to accept salvation and learn to live in Jesus.

I really believe any church or any individual who wants to help others can find a way to do it and that to one extent or another we are called to do that. It is not their goodness it is Jesus making a way. We camped one time near a number of homeless people. Apparently my old van and beat up popup felt to them like we must be in the same state so they invited us to eat. Everyone who came brought a can of something or some rice or crackers or had gathered some firewood or walked to the nearest water and brought back a gallon. Someone had caught some fish. One child had a bag of cookie he shared. It was a great meal and plenty of it and everyone took some "warm up" back to their tent or camper, These were people who had just about nothing. One family was living on the ground under a plastic drop cloth but they shared and everyone was blessed.
10-10-16 08:49 PM
Charles Long before there was Appalachian Hope Center there was and still is Caring Hands Ministries founded in '95 so for our area one of the oldest help ministries. I'll share some on that when I am not on a cell that is making battery threats.
10-10-16 08:46 PM
Charles It is partly at least maybe wholely a matter of priorities. God says in Proverbs that when we help the poor we lend to Him and He repays ...and in our experience He repays with interest. Appalachian Hope Center is one of the smallest churches in the county but God has shown us that we are to reach out and help people to give and it will be given us. No one here is rich. Some still get food stamps and yet somehow needs of the church are met we have never not had enough to pay bills granting that we are frugal in what we agree to for e penaes, sharing space and utilities in proportion to use. Needs of the people are met too. Some give directly to needs not through the church bank account but as a way of showing God's care. One family had saved up for an expense that WS important to them struggled to save and then learned of a baby with no diapers and another family with no food. Those nerds became their priority and still not only is their rent paid and their utilities and food in response to a car problem the dealer wiped out the repair bills and waived down payment on a better vehicle and the original need / want is being met too. We know this because they asked us as their pastors to pray but I doubt that anyone else outside their family does. They tend to keep things like that between them and Jesus.
10-09-16 11:41 PM
Bob Carabbio
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
How does your church help people who are homeless and hungry or does it? What does the Bible say on this?
It's called the "Benevolences" ministry, and there's a network in the South Dallas area that shares info/names descriptions on folks who come for help (generally several every week). What you DO want to do is provide material help to "Truly Needy", and NOT waste your resources on "Welfare Cadillacs" who make the rounds of churches, and other organizations regularly to milk 'em for what they can get. The church that I was with for 13 years Couldn't even meet it's own mortgage, and obviously was unable to afford much Benevolence. My Present church (with a few thousand members) is more able to meet needs, But I have no details.

Our Church has a "Inner city" ministry that, along with other area churches, provide food and clothing to "street folks" (of whom we have a LARGE population in Dallas maybe 4000+) most of whom live in shelters in the evenings. And "Dallas Metro Ministries" is a "Frontline Group" that deals with the problem daily. And then there "Teen-Life Challenge" Dave Wilkerson's ministry for solks who are Desperate enough to "Commit themselves" to the TLC Programs, and live within the ground rules that CONTROL them (since they can't control themselves).
10-05-16 05:12 PM
Homeless and hungry

How does your church help people who are homeless and hungry or does it? What does the Bible say on this?

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