Information many have been looking for!
On Franklin Graham's website for his Samaritan's Purse ministry, he challenges all the churches in the southeastern United States to take in 10 families each. Likewise, I broadcasted a few nights ago that, with nearly 350,000 churches in the nation, we could each take one family each. Poof! The burden's over. Already today, I've heard of several instances where churches were taking in families. These were located in Madison, Mississippi and El Paso, Texas.
Also, according to a friend in Kentucky, when he contacted Samaritan's Purse regarding how to apply for taking a family into his home, he was directed to Talia Barnes of Adventures In Missions. E-mail her at: email@example.com. Explain who you are, why you're writing and what your offer is. Only 148 families have written her as of Sunday night.
Give her the following details:
City, ST, Zip
Name of your Church
Can you provide transportation?
Describe your family and home
The largest displacement of Americans since the Civil War reverberated across the country from New Orleans yesterday, as more than half a million people uprooted by Hurricane Katrina seek shelter, sustenance and are facing the uncertainties of starting some sort of new lives.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and his wife Shonda paid to fly a New Orleans family of nine to Boston and pledged to provide them with housing for a year. The Fields family, with seven children between the ages of 5 and 12, fled New Orleans just before Hurricane Katrina struck.
"When we realized how many people had nowhere to go, we didn't just want to make a donation," Shonda Schilling told The Boston Globe. "We decided we wanted to bring an entire family here and put them up."
The families connected through a Web site, OpenYourHome.com, which matches displaced families with people willing to house them. The Schillings registered Friday and on Saturday anonymously arranged for the family to fly to Boston.
Additionally, the American Red Cross has set up a site where individuals may volunteer their homes or request a place to stay. That site is located at KatrinaHousing.org. Check it out. To Christians everywhere, we must ask ourselves the question, if we do not take these displaced families in, taking advantage of the opportunity to make disciples, who will?
Over the years, I have taken in homeless people myself. A gay witch. A long-bearded alcoholic brick-layer. A former Army Ranger who had just become a Christian after years in the occult. A black crack addict. Several others on a very short-term basis. I have also been that person seeking shelter, trusting that God was going to provide in one way or another. He always did.
My advice to anyone is simply: (1) make sure you're being led by the Spirit. A "good" idea is not always a GOD idea.(2) if you take someone in, set the house rules IN WRITING so that your guests know what's expected by both parties, what will not be tolerated and what the consequences will be if rules are broken. (3) involve church leadership; keep everyone accountable. There are more. implementing these would be a good start.
You've been blessed to be a blessing. Now, bless somebody!
A servant of God
A Ministry of Discipleship & Encouragement to the Body of Christ
P.O. Box 633
Stephenville, Texas 76401
Your Town For Jesus!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Michael is founder of t.e.a.m. ministries (firstname.lastname@example.org). His eMail broadcasts, known as "Your Town for Jesus" (SEARCH it!) are reaching tens of thousands WEEKLY. Log on at http://www.PlanetaryMinistry.org
Michael's mission is to bring Discipleship and Encouragement to the Body of Christ. Michael is the author of numerous booklets on a subjects that will interest the thinking Christian. Since 1999, he has written and broadcast hundreds of inspirational articles and a dozen booklets, all designed to accelerate the process of spiritual development in God's people.