This morning I flipantly asked a homeless man, "How's it going?"
He humbly whispered, "Mam, it's hard. I beg for money everyday just to eat. The positive side to my life is that it cannot get worse. Honestly, Mam, I'm not complaining. I simply know that by my hardships God gives me joy. God is with me."
I looked into his deep, hungry eyes and I had no words of my own. For in that moment, he reminded me of a deep truth that is often forgotten.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
Scripture. It speaks when we cannot.
For where He is, there is hope.
And where there is hope, peace is found.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Back in December, Josiah wanted to continue helping the homeless community in Nashville after all the sleeping
bags were passed out. I honestly didn't know where his heart would take our family.
If this is your first time hearing about Operation Sleep Tight, let me give a quick overview.
*Back in 2011, We had been regularly attending a Wednesday night church service that feeds the homeless
community. Josiah (he was 7yrs old at the time) began asking questions on where & how the homeless sleep
during the winter months. After not being pleased with my answers, he began to dream up Operation Sleep Tight.
*The first year, we discussed a goal of raising enough funds to purchase 10 sleeping bags. Through the generous gifts of many donors, Josiah personally handed out 56 sleeping bags to the homeless community in Nashville. When asked why he is doing this, he simply answered, "I want them to have hope."
*The following year, he partnered with 3 other families and together, the kids raised and handed out 148 sleeping bags! That makes 204 sleeping bags since 2011!!
The lessons learned from Operation Sleep Tight have been life changing.
We have made friends with many that received sleeping bags.
One of which has become a part of our family.
We have visited two separate tent cities and learned about their culture.
Our children are learning through experience that it is better to give than to receive.
I pray we are raising a generation that seeks to change the world for God's glory.
Operation Sleep Tight is the children's ministry with parental supervision. They raise the funds, receive the bags, and pass out each sleeping bag.
AND NOW FOR THE BIG NEWS....
A few months ago, Josiah mentioned about purchasing a camper and becoming a "mobile site" for the homeless community. He has dreams of passing out water, lemonade, undergarments, and even putting in a generator to provide a way for the homeless community to charge their cell phones. His dreams are as big as his heart.
As his mother, I didn't know how far I should allow his dreams to grow. So, I looked at him and asked him to pray. And so we did. It wasn't a daily prayer, but we did pray often. Josiah and I discussed options and I allowed him to dream out loud.
One of my Facebook friends that I met once here in Nashville liked a company called "Fine Designs Camper Sales". It popped up on my news feed, so I thought, "why not?!" and I liked them, too.
I prayed a few times with Josiah and felt the Lord saying that it was time to email this company. After corresponding and talking to the mother of the company, we decided to purchase a 1969 Shasta camper. However, our family did not have the funds to purchase it, so we prayed. Through a HUGE donation from our church, Reunion Christian Community, the camper is PAID IN FULL!
And she is a BEAUTY!
Here are the plans for Operation Sleep Tight's camper:
1. We will work on painting the outside & inside of the camper.
2. Since it is already gutted, we will work on building shelves to hold and store supplies.
3. Sergio and Josiah will work on a survey to ask at least 40 homeless people what their needs are and how Operation Sleep Tight can help. Once the surveys are compiled, we will review them and raise funds for their needs.
4. We are currently praying for funds to purchase a cheap vehicle that will transport the mobile site to different locations.
We are all very excited to share this news with you all. We would covet your prayers!
If you would like to partner with Operation Sleep Tight in any way, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like to donate, you can do so through our church's website and Paypal account. Simply add "Operation Sleep Tight" into the memo.
All checks can be sent to:
Operation Sleep Tight
C/O Reunion Christian Community
PO Box 281075
Nashville, TN 37228
Checks payable to Reunion Christian Community with "Operation Sleep Tight" in the memo.
We look forward to documenting the camper renovations and updating you all with our progress. It is sure to be an adventure and we are excited to see where the Lord takes us & what He teaches us.
"We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19