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By Lenette Evans

As we all come to the end of the Season and celebrate with friends, family and loved ones, it is also a time for all of us to be thankful for the many things the Lord gives to each of us everyday, and how blessed we are.

But so many of us take so much for granted daily and yet want more, more materialistic things and very little of Jesus Christ himself.

We need to be asking for more of Jesus and less of ourselves, becoming less selfish and seeking the Lord diligently, doing his will.

None of us are put here on earth to seek our own needs but to be used by God in every area of our life, and to be winning lost souls and building the Kingdom of God in our families, friends, neighbors, work, schools and throughout the community. So where is the honor? Where is the true Thanksgiving and giving to others that are in need? Don’t be a pew-sitter, sucking up oxygen in the church acting like a Christian on Sunday, and throughout the week doing nothing to help the poor and share the gospel to others. Jesus had a deep love and compassion for the poor. He fed the 5,000, he healed the sick, he prayed and ministered to people on the streets and made a difference every day.

Being a Christian isn’t just going to church and restaurants to feed the poor and those in need, and donate clothes, blankets and personal items.

God has given us ALL so much and has blessed us. Let’s reach inside our hearts and also be used by God to help the poor in our communities. I pray this coming year there will be a deeper change in all of us, and churches will rise up, and businesses will be used to help the poor in our community, to help those in need. Jesus did it and so can we. Let’s be examples of Christ and do the same

Deuteronomy 15:7-8 RSV says:

“If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.”

We never know when one of us will lose our jobs and end up poor, living on the street, and hungry. So let’s all start doing our part in serving the lord and helping those in desperate need.

Lenette Evans
269-876-1848
SavingSouls1@yahoo.com


 

By Cathleen Williams

Sacramento tent citySACRAMENTO, Calif.—Early last December she stood at the edge of the field, near a cluster of tents, a tall young woman with a pony tail and hands that were ingrained with dust. “We call this our little bit of heaven,” she said, waving her arm toward the empty expanse. Behind her, the traffic on highway 5 roared past, and off in the distance there was a line of trees and the backs of new suburban houses. Two porta-potties stood by the road, one bearing a handwritten sign, “Homeless People Need Work.” Wind rippled the American flag that had been raised above one of the nylon tents. The weather was changing. Storms from the northwest were bearing down upon California’s central valley.

This small band of homeless people were refugees from a tent city that sprang up over the past months on an empty, unused lot owned by Union Pacific Railroad on the edge of Sacramento, California. When the tents were discovered in November by the police and city officials—more than 60 had been set up—homeless campers were threatened with arrest and the destruction of their property if they didn’t move. Some did, but others stood their ground, angry and deeply indignant. “I’ll pay the consequences, but I’m not running,” said one camper. “This is where I call home.”

An official count of homeless people in California’s capital was conducted on January 30, 2007. On that winter night, the total number of homeless people was 2,452. Of this total, 709 were housed in emergency, one-night shelters; 738 were housed in short-term transitional shelters; and 1,005 were unsheltered and sleeping in the streets, including four children and 17 seniors. The report found that the number of homeless who were housed in emergency or transitional shelters remained fairly constant when compared to previous years, but the number of unsheltered homeless people was significantly higher, resulting in a 10 percent increase as compared to 2005. Over half of these homeless people suffer from a disabling condition, and have been homeless for a year or more, or have experienced at least four episodes of homelessness within three years.

The City took rapid action to shut down the tent city, sending its population, including children and seniors, back on the streets and the open ground by the river. At the time these residents were evicted, the City offered motel vouchers to cover one or two nights of shelter—and that’s it. Then the Union Pacific lot was fenced with barbed wire.

But the community in Sacramento is fighting back. A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of homeless individuals and organizations to call a halt to the criminalization of homelessness. Homeless people should not be cited, arrested, and harassed for sleeping outside when there is no adequate shelter for them. The confiscation and destruction of their few possessions must stop. Jobs, support in recovery, and housing are basic human rights. Support is being actively organized for the lawsuit and for advocacy of the human rights of homeless people.

For more information,
email Cathleen@markmerin.com.


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