Last Night I got the opportunity to visit the Strong Foundation here in our city. And let me tell you folks, I was BLESSED!!!!
For those of you who are not familiar, the Strong Foundation is a "home" for the homeless......did you get that??? A home. Not a shelter. Now let me just confess right now that i am not knocking homeless shelters. I believe that shelters are wonderful places run by wonderful giving people. But the Strong Foundation is very different from the run of the mill shelter. Each family has their own room for privacy, if they are not in a family, they are given a room mate.....but it is MUCH more privacy than sleeping on a cot in the middle of an open room, that is for sure. Each individual that comes into The Strong Foundation, is expected to follow certain rules that are set up for the safety of the other families that live there, i.e they must not drink, they must not do drugs. They also must have or be actively searching for a job, and they must participate in the cleanliness and upkeep of the facility....which my friends seems little to nothing compared to living on the streets.
I stood in awe as I watched the participation of homeless mothers in a bible study.
I was overwhelmed when I heard the schedule these men and women take on just to be a part of this amazing place (I'm talkin waking up at 6 am doing chores, eating, going to work, coming home and eating, then doing more chores....and STILL wanting to participate in bible studies).
I was overcome with GRIEF as i watched close to 20 or more little children playing on a beautiful play ground that was built JUST FOR THEM....not because of where they ARE but because of where they HAVE BEEN.
And I am AMAZED to hear the stories of just how many families have come from having NOTHING to owning their own home, in just a matter of a few months or years.
And it is all because of a few followers of God, who heard their Masters call.....and trusted that He would provide.
These people take my breath away, when i hear them talk about how they wont accept the governments help because they don't want to force their guests to go to all the planned activities.....they believe God gave free will....and that is what they practice. To quote my favorite vegetables "a gift that is demanded in NO gift at all."
I was honored to spend what little time I did with those precious precious children, so that their mothers could study God's word. I wanted to scoop each and everyone of them up and just hold them tight, knowing what they have had to endure. And i wanted to grab each and every adult there and make sure they knew how much they were loved by God, and how "worth it" they really are.
Thank you to Jim Gipson and others who put this fantastic foundation in motion, to help the helpless find hope.
I really could go on and on about all the wonderful things that are going on at this place....but you should just check it out for yourselves!! I will be volunteering there on a regular basis. If you are interested in getting involved click on the link above (strong foundation) and send Jim an email!!!
BTW the site seems to be encountering some probs so if it doesn't work for you visit it again later!!!
Matthew 25:40 says 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'