It was right before my eyes all the time, just waiting for me to wake up and see it!
Typical of many smaller organizations, our needs often outweigh and outnumber our resources. While OIM has a good number of faithful supporters whom we rely upon for things like prayer and donations and volunteers, there really is no venue for me to speak to ‘my people’ except through written correspondence (newsletters, letters and email). This can leave one with a feeling of distance at times as the communication piece is generally one way.
An idea was stirring in my mind for some time, and at the drop in last week, I shared it with our street friends. Just before lunch I asked our group for their attention and said:
It is common in church settings that the Pastor can come to his congregation at special times and ask for things like prayer for special needs that the church might have whether it be in the church itself or within the community. We have people that faithfully support our ministry, but I never realized that I have a congregation right here from whom I can ask for help, and up until now, I have never asked for any help from you.
I’m asking for help today.
We need to find new space that will accommodate our office and our outreach program to street youth. It has to be in the downtown area and should be about 3,500 square feet.
I know that many of you pray, so I am asking you to pray for this need. Whenever you pray, whether it is daily or just once in a while, if you could remember this prayer request, I would really appreciate it.
Even while I was talking I saw several people scrambling to find something to write on (and with). There were a few questions of clarification. Many, many heads nodded in agreement.
For the rest of the day, people came up to me and said things like: “I already prayed.” “I will be praying for you.” “I wrote it down and will remember you.” “Praying for you.”
The positive response was overwhelming! So many positive things will come of this, perhaps the least of which will be the space for our office and youth program!
It was an idea ‘come of age’, and will bring certain results!
Over 2,000 times in Scripture we hear how we are to look after those who cannot look after themselves: the poor, the orphans, the widows, the strangers in our midst. These are ‘my people’.
Our drop in is a ‘sleeping giant’ of a resource that will change the face of OIM through the power of prayer!
It took a long time to recognize it, and its effects are eternal.
Question: Do you think that God hears the cry of the poor in a special way?