loveworshiplovelife


Our Own Backyard
May 8, 2008, 8:03 am
Filed under: Church | Tags: , , , ,

You know what? I have never been on a mission trip overseas. I have always heard that your life would change when you see the poverty of those people living on hardly any income in the worst living conditions possible. All of those statements are probably correct. I’m sure my perspective on living would change and that I would definitely feel a burden for the people in the third world. But, you do not have to go half way around the world for your perspective to change because there is poverty right here at our doorstep.

Let me qualify what I am saying. I know that the low income areas of Orlando can not compare or even come close to the squalid conditions of the slums in Calcutta or the living conditions in Haiti but there is a need right here in our own city. How can so many Christians get so excited about giving their “missions” offerings to a “cooperative” program to fund missions around the world when there are poor right here crying out to be helped. How can we feel good about getting everyone else’s “house” in order when we do so little to shore up our own “house” as it’s crumbling to the ground?

Yesterday I had the privilege to walk around some apartment complexes on Mercy Drive right here in Orlando and hand out flyers inviting people to come get a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four for free on Friday morning at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission food distribution warehouse. What I saw was jarring. These apartment complexes are arguably some of the worst areas in the City of Orlando. Drive by shootings happen often. Drug deals go down on a daily basis. And the poverty at these areas were really bad. As I would hand people flyers as there doors were open in some of these apartments their eyes would light up as you told them that they would not have to worry about how to provide food for their families for a week. I can’t help but remember one little boy that Barry Leathers handed a flyer to and said, “Go give this to your mom & dad.” The little boy’s immediate reply was, “I don’t have a dad.” It was just enough to break your heart.

As tomorrow rolls around I hope a lot of the people we handed out flyers to get a chance to come get the food that C3 has purchased to help make their lives a little easier for just one week. Like I said in the previous post. What C3 does tomorrow will barely put a dent into the massive issue of poverty here in Orlando but it is a great place for us as a church to start. I believe that this is a part of “Connecting the Community with Christ”. This is part of us doing what we say we are called to do! It is true that there are huge mission opportunities overseas and people need our help all over the world. But if we can not love our “neighbors”, people right here in our own city, enough to share the blessings that God has given us, how can we love the rest of the world? Loving God and loving others, others right here in our own backyard, what a blessing, what a thrill!

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[…] Tomorrow we have our Food Drop with Feed the Children.  A few of us blitzed the lower-income housing in Orlando with flyers about the event.  We got to speak with many families that are hurting.  For more insight on our trip, check out Darrell’s post. […]

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It was definately an eye opener. Seeing all of those kids running around and when we would tell them what we were doing, they were so excited. One man read the flyer as I handed it to him and said,” you know, this is just in time, Thank You, this is just in time”….I am glad we serve a just in time God.

Comment by Chris M

I hope it really meets the needs of those who are most desperate. It’s great to see (and be part of) a church that’s serious about not just reaching “their own” but reaching out to the surrounding community.

Your blog reminds me of Acts 1:8b – Jesus said, “… you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

For us, Jerusalem would be Orlando, and Judea & Samaria would be Florida and Georgia.

He didn’t say, “… you shall send “professional missionaries” to the remotest part of the earth to witness on your behalf, and if you have any resources left over use them to pay down the debt on your church building.”

Comment by Dave

[…] that you don’t have to go overseas to help people…there are so many in need right here. Darrell’s blog about this was exactly what I’m talking about. I wish I could feed all of those needy […]

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