I wanted to chat with you today about Operation God is Love. This is the third year of taking God’s love to the streets. My primary area is the arts district, and the surrounding areas. There are not churches in this area, with the exception of one Orthodox church. There are numerous bars, gay bars, shops, new age shops, and art galleries.
There is also a large homeless population that gathers there to beg or look for food, supplies.
I felt a pull in my spirit to this area. What better place to go than the area where there is minimal light.
People have told me the most effective evangelism is relational, that it is a waste of time to go out monthly to love on people. I have been told as a women it is just not safe for me. God has not told me not to go. I also believe anywhere we take the Light of Jesus is making some impact for the Kingdom of God. So, I have included some stories from the street. I hope they inspire you to follow Jesus wherever He may go.
Sebastian (name changed for privacy):
We were looking for someone with a blue sweatshirt that day. We had prayed God would highlight someone who needed His love. I got the impression “Blue Sweatshirt”. As we walked the streets of the city it did not take long to find him. He was right there eager to know us. We were tied up with another man named John (name changed). I thought, “God let us find this man again,” and we did.
Hours later while walking and praying we saw Sebastian sitting on a ledge with his head downcast. We asked about his life. He told us a very sad story that involved being kicked out of his house. He made the decision that day to kill himself. We asked him if we could pray for him. He responded yes. As we prayed, I bound the spirit of suicide and of death and commanded them to lift off him. You could see his countenance change. He stated he wanted to live.
You can change a life by listening to God.
Becky (name changed for privacy):
As we were walking the streets and praying we came across Becky. Becky was selling newspapers to support the homeless. We asked about her life and once again tears began to flow. The Lord provided words of comfort, hope, healing that spoke right into her situation. She was blessed to be seen, loved, encouraged.
Not every person you meet with a smile is smiling on the inside. Deposit hope wherever you go!
John (name changed for privacy):
John had a story that woukd break your heart. This was a 30 something man without any hope. We stopped for him and took him for pizza. He could not believe someone wanted to eat with him and be seen with him. He carried a heavy cloak of shame. Life had done a number on him. One of his statements stuck with me. He said, “You have no idea how many people look down on me. How many keep on walking by me. How many do not see me at all.” John cried. I still have his face burned into my memory.
We can make a difference by acknowledging a life. It takes only a moment to smile and say, “God loves you,” or “Hello.”
You and I have this awesome privilege of being Ambassadors for Jesus! We do not know if that person is suicidal or oppressed or what they truly need from God. We do know that God called us to love!
Love looks like something,~Heidi Baker.
Trisha (name changed for privacy):
Sometimes I drive through this area and just worship/pray. One day I was driving and saw a lady begging on the corner. I normally give food, gift cards, not cash. I finally found a way to park and get to her. A meeting with one person led to a group gathering to talk about God’s love, His provision, and healing.
One of the ladies who came could barely walk. I asked if I could pray over her. She said yes. I prayed a simple prayer commanding her body to come into alignment with heaven. She was able to walk away. God is the Healer.
We can save a life! We can partner with Jesus to heal the brokenhearted. We can stand with God for the freedom of the oppressed. We can see God heal the sick.
Today I go out again! I go with His love. I go expecting God to bless people. I am only one person, yet God only needs one. My team is small. What matters is following Jesus and allowing Him to love through us. You and I can partner with God to see lives transformed.