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A Day on the Streets (Operation God is Love) 


One of the joys of my life is going out into the city to share the Gospel with the unchurched, broken, and people living on the streets. 

Honestly, sometimes I am tired. Getting up early, loading up my car with supplies, and spending a Saturday on the streets can be tiring. Yet the people I meet, I do not forget their faces nor their stories. They are etched into my heart, similar to initials carved into a tree. 


On the streets I see people God loves, yet many are considered the invisible people. 

It would require quite a bit of time to stop for every single person we see with a sign or hurting. It is not about stopping for everyone, it’s about stopping for the one God highlights. He will highlight someone and some days many people. He is so faithful, if we ask God to place someone on our path who needs an encounter with His love He will. 

On the streets and in the free clinic, I see Jesus. I sense His strong love for people. I confess, sometimes I weep. Sometimes I weep with them. I am not a feeler personality so weeping with strangers is a big deal. My heart is overcome with compassion and love for people God loves. How He loves the world. 

Today we met people with various stories; some young, some old, some male, some female. They were each looking for food on this cold, blistery, 20F day. Some had no gloves. Some were happy to get beef jerky, sandwiches, blankets, water, supplies, and clean socks. 


One man had tucked himself away in the Port o Jon in the park. Concerned he was in there too long, we knocked on the door. He was in there to keep warm and eat his chips. What joy was on his face to find out food was waiting on him. 

One man stood, solemn faced, shaking his cup while people walked by overlooking him. He just kept shaking his empty cup. He stood in the blistery cold, just looking for something to eat. One of my teammates is a 65 year old grandma. I said, “I am not sure we are going to get to him and not miss the light,” (we were driving). She replied, “Watch me!” She hopped out of the car, shuffled over to the man, handed him a bag of food and supplies, and ran back chasing the car. She has a bad back, yet did not desire to miss someone God wanted to feed today. 

Another elderly lady was begging for food outside the bars. People passed her, though her sign was simply asking for food. We will call her Faith. Faith has a smile you would not forget. 

Why tell you stories? Because you can make a difference in someone’s life in one small act of kindness. Some say, “Why give someone a hand out. You are not helping anyone.” Yet they are not the people who get up early, wipe tears of people on the street so happy to be seen. They do not hug the drunk or drug addict or person who smells of urine or vomit. They are not close to the pain, so they are not aware of what God can do in one moment. 

One moment of, “Tell me your story,” can lead to radical encounters with God. One moment of touching that person no one will look in the eye can bring healing. One moment of filling a hungry belly can birth a big grin. One moment of putting gloves on frozen hands can lead to a, “Thank You God.” One moment of God loves you; God sees you, can lead someone into an encounter with God’s heart. 

The naysayers are not there to see the spirit of suicide leave people, to see the crippled walk, the lost give their hearts to Jesus (that’s a soul that was snatched from hell). They do not see the smiles, nor hear the laughter. They are not there. They judge from a distance.

I am telling you one moment with God can transform someone’s life. I told you of Bob (name changed) who in 6 weeks was off the street and with a job. He refused prayer when I met him. He said, “I do not believe in that healing crap. God heals…no I do not want prayer. My life is a mess.” I told him he could not stop me from praying for him. God turned his life completely around. In the end, Bob was praising God for loving him. He said, “No one had ever loved him so much.” Each time we would find him and love him. 

Love looks like Someone; love looks like Jesus. 

We can all gather together in clumps of salt and light each week, or we can take that salt and light out into the market place, the grocer, the gas station, our workplace, the street corners, our schools. The mission does not need to be oversees. The mission is love. The mission is Jesus. The mission is right in front of us. 

What can we do? Maybe you are not called to city streets like me. Yet you have a sphere of influence. Who are you loving for Jesus? Who are you serving for Jesus? You see, I am aware we are saved by faith not works. Yet truly knowing Jesus compels us to love our neighbor. Someone needs what we carry. Christ in us (if we are believers) is the hope of glory. If you do not know Jesus, click here. How to Know Jesus

I tell you these stories so maybe, just maybe when you see a broken, hurting, hungry person there may be a thought that arises, “I can not do everything, I can do something.” 

In the very words of Jesus…”Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to Me.” May we ask God on a regular basis to show us someone who needs His profound love! 

The world is hungry for His love. 

Sincerely, 

Erin Lamb

Founder/Overseer of Operation God is Love

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Not Invisible (Operation God is Love)

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble,~Psalm 41:1.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me,“~Matthew 25:31-40.

This past weekend Operation God is Love commenced. It’s been ongoing in prayer and other aspects, yet going out into the community started this past weekend. God sees the people we don’t see. God cares about the people we don’t care about. Every person on the planet matters to God.

Our journey started at 9 am with breakfast, fellowship, worship, and prayer. Then we ladies headed into the city. We parked, grabbed our supplies, and started walking. We walked and prayed. We prayed for a release of God’s Kingdom in the area. We prayed blessing over businesses and protection over the people who live there. God has given us authority in His name to push back the darkness.

We stumbled across a young homeless man. We shall call him Martin (not his real name). We offered him a goodie bag (cereal bars, snacks, bible, info, etc) and prayer. It didn’t seem to be enough. There was a sadness in his eyes I still can’t shake. We invited him to lunch…as we sat with him in this city pizza place…his story is one I won’t forget. He’s partially disabled, has no family help, and has lots of pain. He showed us the pins and injuries in his legs, and spoke with tear filled eyes. “Churches give you food and handouts, but rarely a place to stay or help finding employment. Shelters give preferential treatment to women and children. They give you food, but no bus passes to get to a job. Other people assume you’re an addict so they won’t help you. People walk past you on the street and look at you like you enjoy begging. I am so ashamed. I want to work. I want to take care of myself“~Martin.

We watched Martin wipe away tears. Though we prayed for healing, favor, freedom, provision…he needs a miracle. He said he couldn’t understand why we’d stop and listen to his story or invite him to eat. He wondered what church sent us out..we told him we came on our own. No pastor sent us out. We told him Jesus sent us to love people, plain and simple. Martin matters to God. He held his head low every time we told him how much he meant to God.

We met many homeless people. We met a woman and several men. All with tear filled eyes, profound stories, and a desire to be seen, fed, & loved. I don’t know fully how they all ended up there; is it or was it their fault they are on the street. It doesn’t matter. Jesus tells us to love people. The greatest solution and Redeemer I know is Jesus. He didn’t tell me to only love those who love me or the shiny, happy, wealthy people. He said love everyone as I have loved you.

I don’t advocate just handing out money to people, unless God leads you to. I don’t advocate going out alone into cities to help people. We go out in the day, in a group, and stay on well lit and public streets. We don’t go into houses or dark places. We don’t carry loads of cash. We don’t give out personal information or offer to do things for people beyond the scope of the mission or Holy Spirit leading.

I do advocate feeding people, getting them necessities, pointing them to places to get help, giving bus passes, gift cards, blankets, small first aid kits, hand sanitizer, praying for people, listening to their stories, showing people the heart of Jesus, etc…

Lastly there was Paul (not his real name). The morning after worship, one of the ladies said let’s wait and see if God gives us clues about people we need to share the Gospel with today. I kept getting blue sweatshirt, but dismissed it. While we were talking to Martin, Paul rides up on a bike in a blue sweatshirt. Thought nothing of it. Once we left lunch with Martin and his friend, we went looking for Paul. We found him on a ledge watching cars go by.

Paul was suicidical. He had told God that day he had planned on running out into traffic because he had no hope. We told Paul, “God sees you! God loves you. There’s hope in Jesus.” We were able to share the Gospel with Paul, to bring hope and encouragement, and pray suicide off him. We told him the blue sweatshirt story and how God sent us there for him. He too cried. It’s moving to see a grown man cry. We gave him goodie bags for himself and others.

Paul, Martin, Sam, Lorrie… The people we met, none of them asked us for money. They were happy to hear the Gospel, for prayer, to be given a hug, for a meal, for someone to listen, for someone to care about them. Love wins! I can’t do everything. You can’t either. We can do something!

I’m excited to hopefully share more testimonies with you throughout the summer. I am praying God invades our city, nation, the world with born again believers willing to love the least, the last, and the lost.

See picture below of us with Sam (not his real name). Quite the character. He prayed for us! How sweet is that. He kept saying how blessed he was and how good God had been to Him. Ah, to have perspective… God bless friends. You are deeply loved (John 3:16).

Love in Christ,

Erin

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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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