One day, I had gone to the grocery to purchase produce for our Tuesday Drop In at Dominion Chalmers United Church and I had lacked judgment on how much I could carry.
Struggling with my multiple bags and juggling my coffee to boot, a lovely woman panhandling offered to help me carry my load. I was thrilled to say the least and I thought to myself, that she could get out of the cold and enjoy a hot meal.
(I thought I was helping her, but truly she was helping me.)
We discussed her situation: new to the city, no extra funds for food or necessities and, therefore, forced to panhandle for survival. I thought, ‘I can get her connected with our food bank, hot meal, clothing bank. I can help!’
We got to the church; she helped me to the kitchen and shared her heart and true intentions. That past weekend an outreach worker from OIM had given her some things and then offered to pray for her. As he prayed she began to weep uncontrollably and her feelings of despair were replaced with hope.
She said to me, “I am not here to get clothes, a hot meal or food bank, I actually have to go now, but I figured you were with the same group as that man who prayed for me and I just had to help you. It was my way of saying, thank you.”
I ran into her weeks later at Drop In, smiling and testifying of the new determination that began with a prayer and the hope God grew in her heart.
This is not the only time I have heard from our street friends that OIM provides “hope.” Actually, it seems to be a common benefit our volunteers encourage. The Word of God says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire cometh it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12) No hope, no life; hope brings life!
‘Thank you’ volunteers for all the tangible things you provide daily for our street friends. But the hope you inspire with prayer and sincere encouragement is a treasure of unlimited value. It has the power to transform a heart and change a life.
Thank you for Hope!