Saturday, January 26, 2013

Have you ever visited the homeless during Christmas ?


Homeless Street Boys Sleeping in an Alley in New York City, 1890s
Homeless Street...

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Homeless Street...

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It was a great thing to enjoy our Christmas with all our family members and our friends as well. After I have enjoyed my Christmas for so many years, I have just had a new insight in the last Christmas. I started to visit the homeless people on the street of the poorest district in my city.Rather than singing Christmas songs on the street like most of the churches do( it is also a good way to proclaim gosple during the Christmas day.), I started to visited the homeless people on the street on Christmas Eve. Have you ever visited the homeless during Christmas ? I don't think it is big thing to do that since many social caring groups and some of the churches will do that as well. However, I think it is not the things I can give to the homeless, but what are the things I can learn from them are the most important issues for my visit. The following three things are the things that I have learned during my visit :

1. I need to be humble

Christmas Eve 2012 was a time to celebrate for lots of people in the city. Everybody is trying to go near those big shopping mall to encounter with others or  have a taste with the excited atmosphere near  the ocean terminal where people could take pictures with all the interesting decoration on the main entry. However, I choose to spend a few hours in the poorest district in my city where homeless people can be seen anywhere in this place.It was a pretty cold night and I was wearing a thick jacket and walking pass by a market area. I saw many homeless people lying on their bed or sitting in a chair chatting with each others. I think the Lord Jesus directed me to focus on a special homeless person who was covering his whole body with a very thick bed sheet laying on the his bed. When I spoke to this old man who was in his 60's , he woke up.  I asked him if he has eaten his dinner already and he said no. I then offer to buy him a dinner with take out from the near by restaurant and asked him to wait for me as I went to but the take out. After I bought him the take out , I have another opportunity to speak with him.Then I asked him a few questions after we chat for a while. I asked him that what do you think the homeless people who are living on the street need the most ? I was surprised by the answer he reply. I thought he would probably say something like money ,clothing or something materials. But he said only one word : "love". He then spoke with about his sadly life history. I then understand that he once had a family but after he made some bad choice in life, he has nothing now. I could sense hoe he regret for the things he did and the lost of his lovely family  by the way he spoke to me. He really taught me something that night. We surely need to treasure our family and the love we can experience in this world. We should never take things for granted because everything is surely a grace of God. I then lay hand on his chest to pray for his disease and sickness and encourage him that God loves him and promise him that I will return to visit him again.

2. I need to be humble again

On Christmas Day,  I went back to the same old place to visit the same old man again. He seemed to be happy to see me again. This time he invited me to see on his nasty and dirty bed and I did. I started to share the gosple of Jesus to Him and told him how Jesus loves him. he warmly accepted Jesus as his savior in a a word of prayer even the whether was pretty cold. I lay hand to pray for his sickness again and promised that I will return with some Bible material again to assist his faith within a week. I shook his hand again before I leaved and encourage him to go forward with hope in life since Jesus will never leave him even this old man is still living on the street. ( He refused to go to the government shelter, nor any of the social agencies where he can find a better place to stay. Actually many of the homeless people just want to keep on stay on the street because of the freedom after I talked to some of them later on.) I leaved with a joyful heart on this Christmas Day after I have bought him something to drink from a nearby store. It was not an easy thing for me to shake hand with the homeless people  and also seat on their dirty bed on the street (some more very dirty stuffs around his bed as well) because I always loves clean. However, it was really a breakthrough and new experience for me. I really sense the love of Jesus to all the people in this world and never reject anyone to come closer to Himself. Jesus always enter into the sinner's house and play a visit to all the socially rejected people happily according to the Bible. Jesus truly lived a humble life with passion while he is still in this world. I could really feel his love and passion on this Christmas experience and I really thank God for all these.


This experience has opened my eyes to experience the love of God in a new way and I hope I can do more of this work in the future which will show the homeless on the street that how Jesus really loves them. We can always say many words about love (especially when I preach in the pulpit) but if I can't even help the poor and the homeless with some action, what good about my sermon then? This is what I learn from this experience and Jesus came to this world as God became flesh to live among us. His love really came with action and really touch people's life and I am happy that I  can participate in ministry like this without anybody to invite me to do so. I think God has already invited me to do so by doing himself two thousands years ago. If many people can start to share more love to the homeless and poor, the world will always be a place where love remains. I feel happy that after I visited these homeless people a few more times after Christmas, another people joined in because of my action. with the help of other Christians, I have the opportunity to get to  know more homeless people and offer my prayer and some drinks to them in such a cold weather. I think once our life can impact others and be a blessing to others, it is truly a life that worth living.

The following youtube is a good example on how the Christian teens in United States are doing in visiting the homeless. Take a look.

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