Pastor Steve’s Full Blog Posts
We provide a place for them to shower, get clothes, cook food and get sleep during the day. And city leaders tell the neighbors that we are drawing the homeless to Gresham, rather than serving the homeless who are there.
A police officer comes over to our congregation and threatens them with arrest, until I approach him and ask him to leave because we don’t allow threats on our property. By anyone.
We arranged with the city to allow our pastor to live in his RV on church property, and he provided overnight security,and we are given fines and threats by the city.
We allowed two of the homeless who worked full time keeping the property clean to stay in our residence and we were told that we couldn’t do that, that we should make our full time workers homeless again.
Officers falsely testify that people come to our property to buy and sell drugs, when we have trained security to prevent just that.
Police have dropped people off on our property because they had no where else to go, and then we are fined for having people on our property.
When the homeless are harassed by the police in our community, then we have allowed the homeless to sleep overnight. But neighbors would come over to our property and violently threaten our people.
Our pastors’ lives have been threatened, we receive a new complaint from the city every month, we have been told that we are the major problem in our city. We have been screamed at by neighbors and the police.
We understand. Jesus said that those who did His work would be persecuted. But if any church wants to help the homeless, to provide real, survival opportunities for the outcast, expect to be attacked. Don’t fear it. We survived. You can too. But be ready for it.
It is not the absence of any one thing:
the use of a body or a vulgar tongue.
Holiness is the presence of love, restoration to God.
Jesus is holiness.
He is the healing of the sick;
The welcome of the sinner;
The touching of the leper;
The calming of the insane’
Hatred into peace;
Evil speech corrected.
Which means, for holiness to exist,
for Jesus to do his work,
There must first be the sick, the sinner, the leper, the insane, hatred, and evil speech.
One day a week filled with..
Many languages of praise
Dancing of spiritual joy
Words of comfort
Songs raised high to the Almighty as an act of peace.
Six days a week…
The miserable finding hope
The homeless finding rest
The naked finding clothes
The jobless finding work
The cursing finding welcome
The rejected finding home.
One of our folks, Thumper, was explaining to me his life. He said that he had raised fifteen children, paid all the bills and maintained a household for decades. After his final child was settled, he never wanted to pay a bill again, so he decided to become homeless. He lives a quiet, very simple life, and generally comfortable.
He helped me out so much a few weeks ago. My car developed a gas leak, and it really shouldn’t have been driven (but I did for a while anyway). The part that needed to be replaced was only available through the dealer and then I would have to pay for someone to repair it in a shop. It was going to be expensive. and I had a dozen people wanting to help me with it. That was fine, but I know from experience not everyone knows what they are doing. One person had a plan, but he warned me that the plan might not work. And he was right. It didn’t.
So my vehicle was leaking a stream of gas now and I was going to have to have it towed as well as the part and the repair in a shop. Thump, however, said that he thought he could fix it cheaply and easily. I didn’t figure he could make it worse than it was, so I gave him twenty bucks for parts and got him a ride to a parts store. In about an hour he had repaired my vehicle and it still works now. I consider this to be a miracle of God, because a huge burden had been lifted off me.
He said that he never did have much use for a preacher or a church, although Anawim is different because they actually help people and he is able to help with us. The only sermon he took in and treasured was a poem he found in the Gresham Outlook in 1961, a hundred years after the poem was originally written by John Hall. It’s called “At Day’s End”:
Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?
The day is almost over, and its toiling time is through;
Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?
Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that’s slipping fast,
That you helped a single brother of the many that passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said;
Does the man whose hopes were fading, now with courage look ahead?
Did you waste the day, or lose it? Was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness, or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say,
“You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today”.
I can’t actually say that I had ever preached a better sermon, so I just let it go.