This particular evening we had coloring books and suckers for the kids. It was a treat to see our teens loving on these kids, even playing ball with them. Everyone got plenty to eat, as we had another ministry donate tons of BBQ chicken on top of the hot dogs we had brought. God always shows up big. He loves his people so much – He provides in the most incredible ways!
As I was serving, talking to and praying with people I heard someone say, “Alene!” I turned around to be hugged by a women who has attended our church. It was a joy to see her and a greater blessing to hear my name out on the streets. My heart melted as she said “I’ll see you tomorrow in church!”
There was a special friend of mine who came with us for the first time this month. She is a friend I met a little over a year ago and she’s attended Bible studies with me. She is fighting a good fight to move on with her life and is doing an amazing job. It was a blessing to have her serving with us this night. She knew so many people out there. I loved it when she’d call my name and say “Come meet my friend. I met them in prison (or on the streets or we used to get high together). We’ve got to pray for her (or him).” I was so thankful for the relationship that my friend and I now had. It took over a year to build that trust. Once again I stood amazed at how much God loves us!
We made a few stops at different parts of downtown that evening. At one of the shelters someone came and got me to go visit with a couple who were really struggling. As I visited with them, my heart cried. The man was broken and devastated by his situation. They had only been in the shelter a few days. He had lost his job, which ended in them being evicted. As we parted ways I was thankful I had met them. I was thankful we had found them a ride to church for the next morning. But my heart was broke. I slid into the dark night crying for that couple and thinking, “There but by the grace of God, go I.”
One of the most incredible stories that evening was of a girl who came out and met us at the last stop. As she took a hot dog and some chicken she said, “I came out here tonight to sell my body because I am so hungry. And here you show up on this corner with food.” Yes, He loves you that much!
There were so many opportunities that evening to share the story of how God loves us. God loves each one of us so much. No matter if we’re rich, poor, homeless, overflowing with blessings, selling our bodies, using, serving, or just wasting our lives away in complacency — HE LOVES US!