Thanksgiving has just passed, and I have a lot to be thankful for. I spent the holiday with my wife and her parents, sharing a turkey dinner with all the dressings, ham, potatoes, dressing, gravy; sleeping well with our bellies full, and knowing I had plenty of leftovers for the next couple days. I’m sure many of you had a similar weekend surrounded by loved ones and lots of food. Unfortunately, this is not how many of our street friends spent their holiday.
I received a message over the weekend from one of the young people in our Arts program saying that she and her partner didn’t have a place to celebrate Thanksgiving; nor did they have food or money to get food. This is a reality for many of the people we love at OIM.
Last week I met a 16-year-old girl who came to our Arts program. She had been kicked out of her home after fighting with her parents and was now living on the streets. I couldn’t help but wonder how she spent her thanksgiving as she adjusts to homeless living. Did she find food, a safe place to sleep, a place to shower?
Even though these stories are sad, I am deeply encouraged by the support that OIM receives on a regular basis from truly generous people. More than simply being reminded to not take for granted the many blessings in our lives, I am thankful that God loves the hurting and the broken and he has instilled that love into so many people. OIM would not operate if people didn’t respond to that love that God has given them. As a result, we are able to show these hurting individuals that God loves them and there is hope.
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done” - Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)
“For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and needy, in your land.’” – Deuteronomy 15:11 (NKJV)
~Jordan - Youth Program Coordinator