On the way into Charm City church in West Baltimore I usually stop make a stop in the neighborhood to grab a coffee. Almost for certain someone will be standing outside the doors, begging for money. This week I was ready!! I copied a few verses out of my Bible and was going to hand it out to whoever was waiting at the door.
When I arrived, sure enough there was a man standing there waiting. As I approached he asked for change, I told I'd get him on the way out of the store and handed him my paper. I told him he needed to explain two of these verses to me when I come out. I took a few steps away and he said, "Sir but I'm muslim". I told him, that was ok, at one time I was Catholic, and Jesus came for "whosoever", and when I came back out, I'd explain it to him.
As I came out I noticed he was gone, but I noticed a woman on the other side of the doors. As I made my way around the building, she asked me if I had change? I do not have coins, but I have "some life change" - that's a modern day approach to "I have neither silver or gold". I asked her name and introduced myself, handed her the piece of paper, looked her in the eyes and build instant credibility with our conversation. The Holy Spirit came upon her and she broke!! Within seconds of speaking to each other she was crying on my shoulder. When approaching anyone, you need to have something more in your pocket than the Roman Road. Not taking anything away from it, because I have used it hundreds of times to lead people to Christ; however, we need to understand or have an idea of where the people is in life before we can lead them. Nikki was open and shared her life, this made it easy to me to build rapport.
"He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone". - John 8:7b
They felt like someone cared
Hundreds of people have walked past them this past week, and no one took the time to say hi, to care, who speak to them. As Ambassadors of the Christ Jesus, are we not called to care for the least among us? The next time you see someone who is struggling and is in the fight, take time to learn something about them. And maybe, before you leave - you could hug them and let them know they are loved. It's a great way to lead them to Christ and get them into a local church. Next week, I am planning on meeting them with some ladies from a local church and let the women minister to them.
** Street Note..... people will hustle you, be ready. Either come with something or instead of giving money, buy them a sandwich or coffee. Ideas to have with you.... socks, hats, gloves, hygiene products. Don't always focus on handing "stuff out". We are here is share the Gospel, empower them - not entitle them. It is a delicate balance, and without street sense - you can end up doing social welfare. Focus on Jesus.
We were having an open air street ministry event right in the heart of drugs and prostitutes. In a very rough section of West Baltimore serving the least among us with Charm City Church. We were on the corner of Wilkins and Monroe St., a very dangerous area to go share the Gospel, but fertile territory because the need is so great and the workers so few.
Fingertips from krokadil addiction
-infection has set in-
Renee Heard the Music!
We were sharing the Gospel, handing out waters and hotdogs. Many walked up, some just for a bite and to run by on to their next mission for the day. Some visit and stay a little bit, Renea did not move. The ladies met her and spent time with her. She rededicated her life to Christ that evening.
For the next two months she would come to church and mid-week Bible study. She said "she has never felt this much love and acceptance from a church before". When people say that, I reflect back to how dirty the sandals must have been on Jesus and His disciples, without a doubt it would have messed up the carpet in the churches today. Many folks who stand outside and are not "clean enough" for our buildings, they never hear the Gospel..... Because we will never go out!
Renee ended up hospitalized from infections and was told she was facing other life ended complications that came from a life of drugs. She was sent to hospice a few days later, was able to get home with her sister where she was with family when she went home to the Lord.
You could see she was such a beautiful person, who simple walked down the wrong path of life, and ultimately paid for it with her life. Maybe our sins do not cost us our physical life, but I bet many it has cost them their spiritual life.
" Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." James 1-15, NKJV
If today you are dead because of your sins. My friends I understand that, we are all in constant battles with Satan. Don't like him keep you from serving God. He is a loving God who sent His son for me and for you!
Turn | Confess | Be Restored!
Rest in Peace Renee!
God said - "take a flashlight"
WARNING - Photos include a deceased human being
This week out on the streets, we were going to share the Word and some people where handing out donuts and hot dogs to anyone on these cold winter streets of drugs and death.
Before I left my house, the Holy Spirit told me to "take a flashlight". A flashlight - why? Well, I put one in my pocket and left for the city. About 20 minutes into our sharing and serving a man is walking down the street and in his hand is a....... Flashlight!! How strange is this I thought, I'm going to watch him. There was no reason for me to watch him, he walks past everyone and comes directly up to me and says, "do you know where I can get a flashlight, the one I have stopped working." As I looked him right in the eyes to figure out if I was going to enter into a spiritual battle, you see in the streets of the most deadly city in the United States, there are many demonic forces at play. But as I looked I could see he was shaken and cared.
What's up? I inquired. He told me a girl was dead in an "abando". That is an abandoned house that is used by homeless and the drug community as a place to shoot up. It was two doors down, he wanted someone to call for help, but his flashlight was broken. It is amazing how God knew he needed someone to have a flashlight that night, I happen to have one.
I proceeded into an abandon drug den at night in one of the worst sections of west Baltimore. I must admit I had a little apprehension, but faith that God did not have me bring a flashlight so I could be hurt or killed.
The room we entered was filled with trash and human waste in one area. The other corner was the area they "lived". A blanket was on the floor covering something. Not sure what was under it I moved with caution, it was a lady we knew, we will call her Donna. The people in the community told me Donna was alive last night, and when they awake in the cold abandon house, she was dead. Not sure if she froze overnight, died of an overdose laced with fentanyl, or just past away from her lifestyle.
Victory over death is through Christ Jesus (1Co15:57)
We do know this....she had visited the church, the women of the church gave her clothes, food and the message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, and she ACCEPTED CHRIST as her Lord and Savior! So we do know - She is run on the Golden Roads! She is a Saint in Glory.
Oh friend, I know that bothers some of you. How can you say that about this "sinner", do we need to go back to the "casting the first stone story"? She was saved by GRACE! Hallelujah!
I pray her life can be used to Glorify God, Save others and change lives! Glory to God!!
Rest in peace my sister.
Here was a guy who ended up being one of the best men I have ever met on the streets. He was sincere, he cared, he would literally give you his jacket in a winter storm, I watched him do it. There was no difference between Tommy and myself, nor you. Ouch that hurt. It's true, like us Tommy cared so much for his fellow man, he would pray with you, lead you to Christ, would give anything he needed if he believed in others. Tommy was a sinner, like you and I, but Tommy had a heart that would out give many righteous christians in the church buildings. This can be hard for some to understand, but I'd take Tommy any day..... because of his heart!
His life of activities did cut his earthly ministry short. Tommy is no longer in pain, nor does he have any struggles, he is running the golden roads, and one day I look forward to seeing him again. Rest in Peace my friend.
Baltimore City Visits Ocean City
We took the street church to the beach in Ocean City, MD. For many, this was the first time they have ever seen or been in the ocean.
The Streets Praying for Nicaragua
Our street ministry in East Baltimore comes together each week to pray for each other and do life in an area of abandon businesses, methadone clinics and government housing. In the midst of all these are some of the great people and true friends!
On a recent 30 day trip to Nicaragua I photo was sent back from an orphanage we were serving in. A friend printed it and brought it to street church. Here are a group of people who in the past only cared about themselves and what they could get from life, celebrating and praying for the kids in the orphanage who have nothing. Only through Christ! I thank God for people like my friends in East Baltimore!!
Our friend Larry
He is a gentle soul, who is always asking what he could do, or how he can help. He never asks for a handout, but one time he asked for a recliner. That weekend, a church visited and asked if there is anything they could do for anyone - Larry got his recliner.
UPDATE - Larry is with the Lord. Rest in peace my friend.
We encourage churches to get beyond the walls.