Friday night a woman was standing in the parking lot of our neighborhood grocery store, her small daughter half hidden in the folds of her long skirt. Her sign said her husband had lost his job, and they needed food and rent money.
“What else do you need?” I asked. “Diapers,” she said with desperate eyes. The daughter with her looked to be about three, and was one of four young children.
A few months back the principal at our children’s school let us know we have a number of kids at John Adams Elementary (and other Torrance schools) who rely on school breakfasts and lunches because there is not enough food at home. Sometimes on the weekends they don’t eat.
The homeless are better hidden in the South Bay than in many parts of Los Angeles, but every year volunteers go to the various encampments around the city and do a head count. In 2014 they determined that 6,788 are homeless in our community, nearly one fourth of which are minor children. That’s nearly 1,700 children that will go to bed homeless tonight.
This is our city – the place where God in his sovereignty has called us to live out our apprenticeship to Jesus, and where we are called to live out God’s mission in the world. God is showing us the need. We need to ask ourselves what we are going to do about this.
Launching Family Promise is an important step, and we are so close. Everything is in place except one final church partner – pray we get the final partner recruited so we can start in early 2015. And friends my strong sense is that God is opening the door to further steps as well. We are excelling at ministering to the poor in Mozambique, and I believe that God is calling us into deeper ministry to the poor here at home as well.
I want to ask you to pray. Pray that God will give us eyes to see, courage to allow our hearts to be broken for what breaks his heart, and resolve to do what he calls us to do in response. Are you up for this? I believe it is where God is leading. (Related: if you weren’t with us, please listen to this last Sunday’s message).
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. (Prov. 28:27)
Lord bless you friends, and we’ll look forward to being with you this weekend –
[More of our waking hours are spent working than any other activity. This Sunday in Proverbs: How do we honor God in our work?]
[Christmas Eve worship – Dec 24th @ 4pm. Kids will be with their families in the service (with activity notebooks to help them stay engaged), and if the squirmies are winning out we will have a Christmas-themed activity room open for kids and parents.]