Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ministry to the Least of These

40 “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.’(AB)
Matthew 25:40

Mark June 6, next Wednesday as the beginning of a new missional community to a group of people in our city whom Jesus surely would have considered the least of these from Matthew 25.

Former offenders share a common experience when they are released.  Transported by bus, they are released onto the streets of downtown Houston near the bus station.  They receive a llittle money and the contact for their parole officer.  This happens with 50-60 former offenders EVERY DAY, five days a week.  They have in most cases little support networks except the ones they had when they got into trouble.  They are unemployable for the most part, unless someone is willing to take a chance.  They often have trouble getting a permanent, acceptable form of identification.

Many of these former offenders are men and women who simply want to get back into a normal life situation.  However, so much is stacked against them.  In a lot of cases family has disavowed anything more to do with them.  Marriages have fallen apart.  Homelessness is common.

I'm not overly fond of the cliche, WWJD...but you do have to ask yourself when this is brought to your attention, What Would Jesus Do? and how can we as individuals and the church live into Jesus' calling to serve the least among us.

Well, FCC under the leadership of Wade Miller, is forming a new group on Wednesday nights in partnership with His Father's Heart Ministries and Joey Gentempo.  The vision of HFHM is large.  They believe that since the State of Texas has cut back re-entry programs for former offenders that the church has this incredible opportunity to step in and play a role in lives and families in Houston.  The church has a role to play in helping former offenders know the love and wholeness that is found in following the way of Jesus.

This new group will begin meeting on June 6, next Wednesday, at 6:30p.  It will be a gathering of former offenders and volunteers who want to offer love and support, a safe place for hurting people to share their hearts, struggles and needs.  It will be a time of Bible study, prayer and open conversation, that will end with a meal time each week to mimic the table fellowship of Jesus in the Gospels.

I'm asking you to pray for those who will come.  To pray for those who will give their lives each week to make this missional community possible.  For those who are open to be involved - maybe you.  To pray that the Spirit will be made know in signs and wonders.  Will you?  Comment and let us know...