Heaters for the Homeless

Some of the folks who were very thankful to receive the heaters.

Heaters for the Homeless

Hopeville - Homeless Tent City

Many of you know of our ministry to the homeless at the tent city called Hopeville in downtown Saint Louis.  Two weeks ago there was a dire need for heaters as the weather has gotten into the teens at night.  So in lieu of our regular dinner that we provide every third Saturday of the month, we took an offering to purchase as many propane heaters as possible.  Our sister church, Community Covenant, also took an offering toward this effort.

We raised almost $700!

With that money, we were able to purchase six large heaters, four little heaters and a bunch of propane.  The people in the photo below are some of the folks who were very thankful to receive them.  Thanks to all of you who gave towards the purchase of heaters for those that we have been ministering to in Hopeville!  Be encouraged for how you applied James 2:

16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

I know some of you wanted to still give towards helping the homeless.  You still can–we will use any additional money to refill tanks.

Some of the folks who were very thankful to receive the heaters.

Jesus in the Margins

Who are in the Margins? Who are the marginalized? They are the neglected or ignored. They are the stranger, the immigrant, the homeless and the poor.

Join us this month as we kick off a new series, “Jesus in the Margins,” about how  Jesus invites us to care about the marginalized. We will push into deeper understanding and application of this side of Jesus’ nature. We have already had a small taste of this. Just a week ago, a group from Outpour took a first step toward connecting with the homeless community in St Louis, through a partnership with New Life Evangelical Center. Here is what Esther, a medical student at Outpour, wrote about her experience:

What I saw was astounding.  Not only did we see individuals sleeping on the side of the street, but we also found “hidden” homeless communities with makeshift tents and tarps put together under freeways and in unheated old buildings.  I have seen a lot of poverty in other countries, but it was something entirely different to see it in my own city, only a 10 minute drive from the warm, dry home in which I live.

This is only a first step for us, but taking the time to physically visit the forgotten places of our city is already changing us, because Jesus is waiting for us there. He meets us as we connect with the marginalized, in fact He counts our care for them as service to Himself:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:35-40

While many look to the mainstream, Jesus leads us to the marginalized; He specifically emphasized that we not ignore those in the margins. While many seek the powerful and the affluent, Jesus leads us to the voiceless and the poor, to the distant and diverse, to the lost and the misfits.  We find Jesus in the Margins.

Why follow Jesus to the Margins? How do we go there together? What can we expect to experience? Come walk with us for the next few weeks as we venture farther into to the Margins together.


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