Here's a sample of the newest effort of the Woodward Park Church of Christ's effort to advance the reign of Christ in Fresno. These pictures are from Wednesday evening's downtown outreach at an apartment complex for at-risk families, where food and clothing were distributed and Bible studies were set-up with the residents.
The faces of the children touch me deeply. To think that these children have and are facing unimagineable difficulties and instability just grips me. These aren't the faces of at-risk children living overseas, but children in turmoil who live right here in our city.
A look from above at the courtyard area of the complex where the clothes distribution for the parents and children was held. The Woodward Park family responded to the call for clothes in overwhelming fashion, as you can see in the above picture.
What's happening downtown is touching lives beyond the borders of Fresno County. Last week while in Arkansas, I discovered just how exciting this ministry is to me personally when asked about our downtown outreach from people who read my blog regularly.
One couple was especially touched and convicted as I shared with them and they have committed to partner with us in this ministry. They were particularly interested in how the funding for the ministry was being handled. I told them, "There is no budget for this and there's no direct source of funding. We're operating on faith that we are doing the will of God and living out the mission of Jesus and trusting God to provide."
And now, God has honored that faith and there is a direct source of funding for our food distribution! We received a check in the mail yesterday that will fund our next two food distributions downtown! Through one couple in Arkansas who want to partner with us, God has provided financial contribution toward the food, clothing and supplies distribution to the lost and the least among us.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'" (Matthew 25.31-40).
The words of Jesus make it abundantly clear that every act of benevolence, every random act of kindness, every financial and personal investment that advances the justice of God and the reign of Christ is ultimately a gift to Jesus himself.
It's for Jesus!