Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


During the Easter weekend, we received an email from Dad about a man in SC who was in need of help for his family. After reading his email below, Holy Spirit told me to contact Dad and Vera, our kind-hearted Christian neighbor in SC. I didn't know what Vera could do, but as always, God knew. I asked Dad if it was ok to give his number to Vera and I also gave him her number. I then contacted Vera, in hopes she knew of a job for this man or his wife. Maybe some food assistance; when we lived in SC and were low on food during the months my husband was out of work, Vera would drop off a few bags of groceries. I told her I didn't know what she might be able to do, but Holy Spirit said to seek her assistance. (It is so hard to talk to her cuz I then get so homesick and long to move back.) Here is the email we received from Dad.

Dear Praying Church Friends and Family:

I thought his clothes would be dirty and he would look unkempt and smell of sweat because he needed a bath. I wondered if he actually showed up in church with me Sunday, how welcome this desperate African-American stranger would be among the people of our church.

I met him in a strange way. I was mowing a lawn, Wednesday about noon, at one of our duplexes. He hailed me from the fence, and let himself through the gate. I shut the mower off to see what he wanted. He begged me to let him finish up the lawn I was mowing, so he could make a little money so he could buy some hamburgers to take to his wife and two kids, who were home...hungry! I looked into his pleading eyes. I sensed he was not lying. It seemed like the Lord said to my heart, "Help him."

I said, "Okay, you finish it, and I'll give you ten Bucks. In the mean time I'll trim around the house and along the fence." He jumped at the chance. He could not thank me enough. On hurting feet, wearing worn out tennis shoes, and slightly limping he finished the work, and I paid him.

And I felt impressed to help him further...something inside me was saying, "Help him."

Let me tell you what I have learned about him:

He is educated (college degree), and he is also trained in a trade, but he hasn't worked for four months...even though he is willing to do anything that is honest. Like many others in this town, this 50 year old man can't find work, though he has sincerely tried.

I decided to see if I could help him find a job. I took his story with me to prayer meeting Wednesday and I and another brother (who has been in this kind of situation) prayed over the man, asking God to help him and show us what to do...where to look for work for him.

Thursday evening, after a great jail meeting, I went to his house. It was dark. I assumed he was not there. No lights. So I did not stop.

Fairly early Friday, I found him, and took him to see a man who I thought might be able to hire him. After the interview he sensed he was not going to get a job there.

I took him home. I gave him my business card. I told him, " I really want to help you if I can."

I took care of some "Jail" business Saturday morning. When I got home, he had left a message on my answering machine, asking me to come see him. He wanted to talk to me. When I saw him Saturday afternoon, he was very, very tired and worried; he was fighting depression...almost ready to cry. He had done everything he knew to do to find work, to get a little money, to try to help his family. I understand that. I have been there.

In my trying to help, I learned his car had been confiscated by a loan company...no money... couldn't pay for it. Before that the transmission broke making it impossible for his wife or him to work...couldn't afford to have it fixed, and he had no way to pay the mechanic who worked on it. No job. No money. No car. No transportation. To go anywhere he and she
had to walk.

From him I learned he has been walking all over Greenville for days asking people to let him rake their leaves, and do things for them, anything to get a little money. Anything...so he and his wife and children can eat. That is why he hailed me from the street. A guy like that, was looking pretty scruffy, and pretty broken when I saw him.

Somewhere, in all of this, I discovered the electricity at his house has been turned off, also the water. The dirty dishes are piled in the sink, and there is no water to flush the toilet, and I assume he and his wife haven't taken a bath in their own tub in a while.

From him I learned that they have sold their stove and refrigerator, and washer and drier... no water anyway... that's why their clothes are dirty. In fact they have sold almost all their furniture,and they tried to sell me the one major thing that is left... their dining room table...anything to get a little money for fast food...no way to cook.

He still has a bed for each of his children who have gone to grandma's, and they still have their own bed. And the reason they are trying to get rid of everything, is because the Sheriff is coming to put their remaining stuff on the street.

To help you understand what is happening, you should know that the loan company which financed their house is foreclosing on it, and they have no place to go.

In trying to understand the total situation, I learned that he and she profess to be born again Christians? That she has a testimony of total surrender to the will of God, and is resigned to trusting God even though she cannot understand why this is happening to them since she has truly tried to live for the Lord, and at one time she worked in a Church bus ministry and tried to help boys and girls get saved.

From her I learned that a church in their neighborhood hired him to do some plumbing (he's a plumber) , and when the job was done they refused to pay him, telling him the church had no money...they owe him $3,000...but deceived him into thinking he would be paid for doing the work when the work was completed.

From him I learned that after the above experience, someone stole his plumbing tools... drove off with $800 worth...and sold them in a pawn shop ... He had no money, so he could not redeem them.

I also learned that on Thursday he was put into handcuffs, interrogated and scorned like a derelict and a vagrant (which he is not) , and told by the police he could not walk around in neighborhoods asking for work. I assume, if he does, he is risking being arrested for vagrancy, fined, and put in jail, where he would sit, since he has no money.

( If this was you, and you were as desperate as these people are, short of selling drugs and robbing homes and banks, what would you do, if you were they?)

Saturday, he expressed a sincere interest in coming to church with me Sunday. They don't go to church. They have not gone in a long, long time. They have been pretty disappointed by churches, so they stopped going. But, I sense they do love the Lord, and they, deep inside, feel they should be in church, and they would like to start again.

Sunday, he came with me to church. I picked him up at 9:30. We got there in time to eat some of the Easter Sunrise breakfast. Many of you were very nice to him. He was greatly encouraged by your spontaneous kindnesses. And awed by the thoughtfulness of some of you who knew of his situation and showed sincerely your compassion. He went home with hope in his heart, and in God.

Faced with knowledge such as this, it would be very easy for me to be a theoretical Christian...to praise the Lord in my comfortable church, and return to my comfortable house for a delicious dinner, and fellowship with my truly wonderful spiritual friends and talk of the things of God.

That is much easier than to involve myself with a needy hurting neighbor who has been beaten by circumstances I know nothing of, and robbed by dishonest folk, some of whom have dared to call themselves believers, and followers of Jesus.

This situation is awfully like a story Jesus told. I could have looked the other way...I could have harden my heart against this beaten and injured and hungry stranger, pretending he is not there... and say to myself "maybe, if I just refuse to recognize it, this problem will go away."

I am sure there are people who think I have once again been suckered by a hard luck story, and maybe I have. It is a risk. But I have decided to believe the man and pour wine into his wounds and to help him (and his wife) to get to a place where he can heal. I recognize, full well, it might cost me something, and may interfere with some of my plans. But if
I can help him to be all that God wants him and her to be, it will be worth it.

The world is full of theoretical Christians. True Christianity, according to James, the Apostle, gets involved.

When you bow your head over your meals today, please pray for this real Greenville couple and their two small kids: their lights are off, the water is shut off, the sheriff is coming, they are losing their house, and they have no place to go, and no way to get to that place if they had a place, and no way to pay for it.

They need a financial miracle to get themselves re-established: unless the house is somehow saved they will need a new place to live; they need reliable transportation, lights, water, food.

And he and she need meaningful, dignified, honest employment that produces money enough to pay off their debts, and create a new financial testimony, and a sense of self worth... independent of government social handouts, of which there none; as I understand it, the county funds are gone; the demand in the area for such government funds is more than the

For you and me, and for them, their situation looks impossible. But with God, all things are possible. He calls into existence things that are not.

I am asking of you nothing more than this: that you earnestly intercede for them as you read this letter, and also at each meal as you give to God thanks for what he has given you.


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