Homelessness in Indianapolis
At One Mission Society, we focus a great deal of attention on discipleship—what it means, how we do it and where it leads. Our mission statement is clear: By God’s grace, One Mission Society unites, inspires and equips Christians to make disciples of Jesus Christ, multiplying dynamic communities of believers around the world. Our primary goal is making disciples—making obedient followers of Christ.
Saturday, two of my roommates (fellow interns Becca and Kayla Jo), an OMS missionary, funding to serve with HOPE61 (Emily), and I headed to downtown Indianapolis to help meet a physical need by providing lunch for some of the homeless people and to pray with them that they may know Christ and enter into a relationship with Him.
We stopped at a grocery store to buy paper sacks, zip lock bags, apples, bread, ham, and bottles of water—we managed this with $16! As we went home to prepare the sack lunches, we came up with an idea to write Psalms 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him,” on the sack lunches.
In the car, we prayed over the sack lunches and the people that would receive them. We asked God to give us boldness as we spoke of His love for these folks and how His love is strong enough to free them from bondage.
As we entered the city, we split into two different teams (Kayla Jo and I and Becca and Emily). We started walking up and down the tourist section of Indianapolis. Each team was able to give away five lunches and pray with a total of 10 homeless people.
Praise the Lord that the men Kayla Jo and I spoke with knew the Lord! We spoke with, R.*, who stated that he recently become a Christian and was meeting with ministers from a local church. As we prayed with him, he asked, “How do you guys know how to pray and have the Lord so closely?” I replied, “When you accept Christ as your Savior, then the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and gives you peace, wisdom and understanding,” R. seemed very receptive of this.
Another man we met, A.*, stated that he recently became homeless. He seemed hot, and I suggested that he move into the shade next to the building, and he replied, “We can’t sit next to the buildings, they make us sit in the sun.” I felt compassion for this man as he had no place to go, and he could not even be comforted by the littlest things in life such as shade.
We offered to pray with A. and he reached out to hold mine and Kayla Jo’s hands. I was reminded of Matthew 19:13, “Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.” He thanked us for praying with him stating, “God bless you, ladies!”
The last man we were able to encounter, S.*, was grateful when we gave him the sack lunch. He said, “Thank you for having so much compassion to help me. It puts your faith back in people.”
S. shook his head as tears came to his eyes and we asked if we could pray for him. He said, “Please pray for me!” He extended his hands and as we held hands, I could feel him squeezing tightly. I was moved by S.’s faith in the Lord and I am humbled by his willingness to trust us.
We were sent to these people for a specific reason, whether that was to provide them lunch or remind them of their walk with the Lord; it was led by Christ and for His kingdom. Please pray for these people to continue walking faithfully in the Lord and to seek God as their refuge. I praise God for shining His light in the darkest of places.