Hello folks, Andrew Terry here for The Refuge Homeless Shelter of Lapeer.
Our season is one month away! We open November 18. We are excited and ready.
But, there is one down side to us opening on November 18. That means we are not open now. We receive calls almost every day with people looking for shelter.
Just today, a mother of a two year old son called looking for shelter. Then another woman called who need emergency shelter today. I had to turn these two people away. We are not open. We cannot help.
This is the challenge The Refuge faces the 33 weeks we are not open. From November 18 to March 30 is only 19 weeks.
19 Weeks. That is all The Refuge is able to help this season.
The biggest obstacle for The Refuge only being open partially in the year are the churches that participate. We now have 17 churches that have said they are hosting The Refuge this year. A few others are discussing with us how they can help and get involved too.
There are over 100 churches in our county. If only half of them partnered with The Refuge we could help the homeless year-round.
Sure, many churches cannot host due to building arrangements or the number of volunteers. But, churches can begin to work together.
We have four churches and ministries right now discussion working together, to pool their resources, to host a week this season.
I know I talked about hosting last week, but these phone calls I received today broke my heart. We need you, the church, to get involved. Please like, comment, and share this video, get the awareness out.
Today, I want to read from one of the most remarkable passages in the Bible, Jesus reading from the book of Isaiah. Luke 4:18-21
Luke 4:18-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus is saying, this passages in Isaiah is talking about me. I am the one that the Spirit of the Lord is on, I am the anointed one. I am the Christ.
Then he goes on to say what his mission is: preaching to the poor, sending captives free, healing the blind, and bringing justice to the oppressed.
Since we too are anointed with that same Spirit of God, we too have the same mission. To preach good news to the poor.
What is good news to the poor? It is news that they will receive help. They will have a friend. They will see justice. They will be fed, clothed, and housed. Why? Because the people of God will do what they see their heavenly Father doing - caring for the poor and less fortunate.
This is the work of the church! And The Refuge gives you the tools to make it happen.
Jesus mission is the trust of the work of The Refuge. The work that we do is good news to the poor. Our message is this: Jesus loves you, and I love you too.
What I really wanted to highlight today is our check-in process. This is the process our guests go through before they are taken to the host church for the night. This involves a pat-down, a breathalyzer test, and search. This part is important to insure the safety of our guests and volunteers.
This check-in procedure is done by volunteers every day at our offices in downtown Lapeer. And we need you to volunteer for this process. From 5:15-6:30 every day, and hour and 15 minutes time. You can volunteer to help once week, twice a week, once a month, however you feel led.
Go to http://www.therefugelapeer.org/check-in-volunteers.html to sign up to volunteer. We will be having training November 6 and 8, beginning at 5:30 - at our offices in the basement of St. Matthews church in downtown Lapeer.
Go to our Facebook page and click on events and let us know which training session you will be attending. You only have to come to one. If you have questions please let us know.
For now, this is Andrew, signing off – Seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.