Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Homeless Church.

Tonight our Young Adults Ministry from church took a group into West Palm Beach to participate in a church service for the homeless. I have had numerous opportunities in my life to experience various ministry environments and this was definitely one of the most unique of them all. We met at the church (Westgate Tabernacle) at 7 PM. When we arrived there was one of the ministers waiting for us. He took us on a whirlwind tour of the church grounds. Very simple. A kitchen and dining room to feed the hungry (over 300 meals a day), an office area and then of course the infamous sanctuary/sleeping area. (FYI the church is known for housing the homeless on the floors of its sanctuary.) When we walked into the sanctuary the gentleman on stage (Carl, pictured) welcomed us and invited us to sit up front. This is considered quite an honor. The people in the crowd clapped and Carl continued to thank us for coming out to participate. He led us in some karaoke songs and sang a couple of solos then asked for some testimonies from the audience. This was when the evening hit its pinnacle in my humble opinion. This when Clarence stood up and said "I just got out of jail this week. The only place I knew to go was Westgate Tabernacle. I knew you all would love me and accept me. I need a new start, and this where I believe God wants me." The night went on. Several people gave sermons. Nothing spoke to me more than the words of Clarence. The night was complete for me already. When all was over I had the opportunity to meet Clarence. To thank him and to embrace him. His words to me "pray for me, man, pray for me". My response "I promise". I was thinking to myself, would Clarence feel this way about my church. Would he say "this is a place that would love me and accept me." I can honestly say I believe he would.

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