Ensure Education for All Children

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Ensure Home for All Homeless People

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Homeless No More

Often times in life I’ve felt God has called me to do things I didn’t want to do or hadn’t planned on doing. He makes it so clear, that in the end there is no other path for me to take. I want to tell you a story of hope and encouragement today. It’s the story of Bruce, the first homeless person I ever took in off the streets.

In 2003 I was living in Southern California. Every Thursday night a team of us would carry an 8 foot wooden cross down Hollywood Blvd. When people asked what we were doing we responded “We’re reminding people of the love of Jesus Christ and praying for the city.” Often after carrying the cross we would take a few homeless to dinner with us. It gave them a chance to get a warm meal, spend team off the streets and enjoy some conversation. It one was of these nights I first met Bruce. Bruce grew up in an abusive and drug ridden home. He was robbed of his childhood and ended up on the streets at a very young age. One Thursday night Bruce really wanted to get off the streets and get into a mission. All the missions were closed for the night so we decided to let Bruce come and stay with me for the night and we’d take him to the mission the next day.

When we woke up we took him to the mission to get help. It was later the next day Bruce called us and told us the mission wasn’t safe and the drugs were rampant inside just like the streets. So I called my roommate told him the situation and we decided to have Bruce come and stay with us until we could come up with a plan. Bruce was coming off of drug addiction and hadn’t been in a stable environment for years. He lived with us that entire summer. I was working as a Jr High Youth Leader and Bruce became involved at the church. He finally had a chance to connect with normal people and get back some of the childhood he never had. The church even hired him on to do some maintenance and janitorial work.

After that summer Bruce went to live with my friend Scott for a number of years, where he helped him get on disability, get a job, and get his life back together. Eventually he moved into a group home and lived a normal life for years. Then Bruce found out he had cancer. He was moved into assisted living and they didn’t give him long to live.

But with the Grace of God Bruce beat his cancer. While still living in assisted living Bruce’s cancer came back and he went through another round of Chemo. After he recovered again the state of California would no longer pay for his assisted living. My friend Scott took him in again. Earlier this year Scott and I started talking about what to do with Bruce. I had an extra room in my house and Bruce was sleeping in Scott’s living room. Last Month, Bruce flew back from California with me and has moved into my house. For the first time in years he has his own room. A few times a week he comes down to help out at Morning Glory and he feels like he has purpose. Although, Bruce has lived a crazy life of hurt, pain, and trials he is one of the happiest and nicest people you will ever met.

I share this story because Bruce is an example of person who has been through a lot but was able to go from being an addict and homeless to someone that has gotten to live a full life. I’m not encouraging anyone to take a homeless person home in to live with them but I want to you to know that by feeling compassion and love toward the homeless you can make a difference in their lives. They are people. Have a conversation with them and get to know them. They have hopes and dreams and besides the struggles they face they are often no different than you or me. If you’re afraid to talk with them, then pray for them.  I’m nobody special. I followed God’s will in the direction he sent me faithfully even though it seemed so crazy back in 2003. My experience with Bruce changed my life forever. It was those very nights when I first started working with the homeless in Hollywood that God put in me a passion for them that has continued to this very day.

written by Nate Smith

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We Depend on our Volunteers

At the heart of every ministry, volunteers are often the core. At Morning Glory Ministries we depend on our volunteers. Without them we wouldn’t be able to provide the services we do each day. They pick up donations for us, serve our meals, help in Emergency Assistance, and keep our ship afloat. I wanted to take the chance to thank our volunteers for the time money and heart they put into Morning Glory.

I want to encourage each one of you to come and visit or at least be part of serving a meal one time at Morning Glory. My desire is for you to have the opportunity to be blessed by the guests that walk through our doors every day. I want you to be the “hands and feet of Christ” to our guests. But, maybe you don’t have time, or you live too far away. Maybe you volunteer your time with other ministries or your ministry is your family. I just want to encourage you to be involved in giving back to others and the community around you.

We’re all called to serve the Lord and give back. He has given us so much love, grace, and mercy and the least we can do is find that simple way to honor the Lord with our time, our money, and our love.

 

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.– Joshua 24:15

One who serves cannot hoard his free time, he said, he has to give up the idea of being master of his day” because he knows that his time “is not his own, but a gift from God which is then offered back to him. Only in this way will it bear fruit.– Pope Francis

written by Nate Smith

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