I Was a Stranger, and You Invited Me In
When I first started ministering at EBC, Mary Mills brought me to Open House Ministries for a tour of their facilities and a brief education of what they do. I was encouraged and thankful for the strategic and Christ-centered help they are offering to Vancouver’s homeless population. They house and equip and are very successful in reintegrating them into society. Nearly two years have passed since then.
Recently I’ve been saddened by the homeless situations I’ve become aware of, including those in or connected to our church family. As I know from recent experience, it is extremely difficult to find affordable and available rentals right now in Clark County. Homelessness is a very real problem and not just for those with mental health issues and/or addictions. This is why EBC has been very involved in the W.H.O. Shelter. This is why Mary Mills devotes much of her life to loving and helping homeless families.
I just contacted and had a very good conversation with Renee Stevens, the new Executive Director at Open House. I found out that they currently have a 9 month waitlist for homeless families and individuals primarily because their program graduates cannot find a room, apartment, or house that will rent to them (usually because of poor credit, not having income three times the rent, and/or lacking deposits).
What if we did something about this? What if some of us at Evergreen Bible Church got out of our comfort zone and decided to take a small risk by occasionally bringing others into our homes (maybe that’s why some of us have been given spacious homes)? What if we partnered with Open House to offer these newly equipped brothers and sisters in Christ a room(s) to rent as a stepping stone to getting their own place? What if we offered a room to rent to those in our own church family (or connected to it) in order to keep them from living in their cars or worse? What if we found this helped to fan into flame our fire for Jesus and helped us to get to know Him better? After all, it was Jesus who said: “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,” Matthew 25:35. What an amazing opportunity we have to welcome Jesus into our home!
If you see the blessing this could be and are interested in possibly ministering in this way, please contact me (Pastor Matt) for more information.
To live is Christ,
Evergreen Bible Church