Monday, May 21, 2007

Life in the Tent City

Sorry for the blogless Monday. We had some internet server issues at the office on Monday and by the time things were up and running, my schedule was too full to carve out any time to post.

Today, John Etherton and I are traveling to San Diego to visit Joe at the VA Hospital. Joe underwent surgery last Friday to remove his prostate following a cancer diagnosis. The full pathology report hasn't been given, but the early returns are good.

Continue to keep Joe in your prayers as he recovers from his surgery.


When it was apparent that Joe would have his surgery at the San Diego VA, I suggested he schedule it around the Padres being in town.

Being the baseball fan that he is, Joe obliged.

So this evening following our visit, John -- a die hard Padres fan -- and I will be in Petco Park to watch the Padres and the Cubs.


Sunday's Fresno Bee had a very enlightening article about homelessness entitled "The Homeless: Myths, Facts and Hopes." Through our ministry downtown, the plight of the homeless has become a very real ministry endeavor for the Woodward Park Church. On Sunday, we had eight homeless persons in our assembly. Our work downtown is reaping dividends, with one of the ladies being baptized last Sunday.

Hopefully, one of the hurdles to our outreach has been crossed with the realization that many we'd reached out were hesitant to come for fear of missing lunch. The Poverello House serves lunch on Sunday to the homeless, but many we'd invited to our assembly were afraid that if they came, they wouldn't make it back in time to be served.

Thankfully, some of our members have taken the initiative to be sure their need for physical food is met, providing them with lunch each Sunday following our assembly. The marriage of their physical nourishment with the spiritual food of God's Word should, I pray, reap a harvest for the kingdom.

Several points in Hedberg's editorial caught my eye. For example: "almost one in five homeless is working. The major victims of homelessness are children. Very few people choose to be homeless. Most are forced into homelessness by circumstances, such as losing work, lack of affordable housing and the absence of a supportive family or social network."

"According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, families and children make up the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated that families with children comprise 40% of the homeless population."

"If current trends continue, by the year 2025, multi-millions of American children will have spent at least part of their childhood without a home."

I am grateful to be a part of a church that values the mission of Jesus, not just to feed the impoverished food, but to feed them the Word of God. To serve as a teaching community of the eternal values of a benevolent God. To make a difference to the lost and the least because "whatever you do for the least of these, you did to me" (Jesus).