Yesterday I had the privilege to attend the 6th annual Recovery Roundup at Pathway to Recovery here in Indianapolis. Pathway is an organization that has been helping homeless individuals become clean and sober, mentally stable, financially self-sufficient, and permanently housed since 1989. They are absolutely incredible! I arrived a little late, so when I got there they were doing the countdown representing how long folks had been sober. If there was someone in the audience who was at that particular milestone they would raise their hands, jump-up, or whatever they felt like doing and everyone would cheer for them – it was very cool. I walked-in at 36 years and they counted-down to a young lady who was at 2 days – she received a special gift of encouragement which was a book signed by all of the people there. I just cannot say enough about the amount of love that I witnessed from those who were in attendance, and this is coming from someone who really has no idea of the struggle that those battling addictions face, not to mention the fact that they were also homeless when they walked through the doors. I became aware of Pathway when a couple of men from the Jungle (homeless camp that I visited every Tuesday night with another group) went there after the camp was closed at the end of March, and I have met the Director, Sandy Jeffers, on one other occasion. She is a wonderful lady indeed!
Please take a few minutes and visit their website at pathwaytorecovery.org to learn more about the work they do and how you can support them. Thank you!!
I am very happy to announce that two of our friends have recently obtained shelter thanks to the efforts of awesome local professional service providers. For both, I am hopeful that this step off of the street will give them the stability that they need to move into the next phase of their transition out of homelessness. You can rest assured that we will continue to walk alongside them all of the way!
Paul, Sophie, and I have also been engaged with other friends who are still experiencing homelessness and we are working hard to build relationships and provide encouragement and guidance to help them plug-into the professional resources that they need to be successful. This includes interfacing with those who work in these areas so that we can know more about what they do and they will remember who we are as we try to advocate for our friends. There are so many great organizations who work on behalf of the homeless and we are going to begin profiling one each week on our website to introduce our audience to their outstanding work.
We also want to thank Dan & Elizabeth Zacharias and Paul & Nancy Kern for their recent donations to FOTH. We appreciate it so much and will work to make every penny count!
I was thinking today of an encounter that I had a few months ago when a young man in his late twenties, who I had just met for the first time under a bridge, asked me “Don’t you judge us?” Friends, it is such an awesome feeling to be able to say without hesitation – “No! Why would I do that?” I think he was pretty surprised by that reply, but it is absolutely true. Does that mean that I condone bad behavior or that I don’t want folks to break an addiction or reach their potential in life? Of course not. But what it does mean is that I don’t know anything about what has happened in their lives to bring them to this point as I have not walked one moment in their shoes (or anyone else’s for that matter). And while I may want to know more, for some people recalling their past is just too painful. In addition, they may be ashamed of things that they have done (or that have happened to them) – don’t we have all have things that we want to keep secret? Bottom line is I do not possess any real understanding of their brokenness, just as they do not of mine. But God knows us all and He can change a person’s heart in an instant. My goal is to make a connection with folks and encourage them to be accountable – both to God (Repentence) and to themselves so that they make the decision to follow Him and achieve the plan and purpose that He established for their life. Nothing else will work. The world needs far fewer people (how about zero) presuming they have the right to judge others and many more who are willing to walk alongside the lost and hurting and do everything they can to help lift them up.