As you can tell, I am not much of a blogger, but I thought it was time to share some things God has been teaching us as well as some of the awesome things that have been going on with Ransom Ministries.
The Homeless On Purpose project really changed the way I looked at things when it comes to those in need. Many times we look at someone and see what we want to see and think what we want to think. This causes us to judge a person before we know the situation they are are in or coming out of.
I know the past two years have caused our family to rely on God and His leading and trust him fully. Each day, we realize we are right where God wants us, and that is an awesome feeling, but it’s also scary at times. God keeps on showing Himself to us in so many ways. I can’t begin to tell you everything He has done in our lives and in the lives of those He has let us meet.
We had a great summer. We were able to reach out to the community with a great group of students from Little Rock, Arkansas. Over the week, we saw many people realize that reaching out to those in need (which really is everyone you meet) is not that hard — you just have to be available. We saw them grow as the week went on, and each of them came away with things that changed their lives and lessons they could take home with them. This week also changed us and helped us do what we do. Watching my sister and her family serve was the most rewarding thing I had experienced in a long time. They were able to carry it home to Colorado, and they are reaching out where they are as well.
We have seen so many people who are hurting and just need someone to love them or listen to them come through Ransom Cafe this year. We have seen young children who just want to play catch with a ball, widows who just need to belong, elderly men and women who just want someone to listen to them, young people who want to serve, but need someone to lead them, homeless people who just want a meal or a shower, families who want to know someone is struggling like them, and people from all walks of life who need to know someone cares.
We have seen that if we are there for them, a door is opened for Jesus to heal them and give them hope. We know that we don’t have anything in and of ourselves to give them, but we have the best thing we can give them and that is Jesus and His love.
We have seen God open so many doors to reach people. We have seen people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus through serving them a hot meal, giving them a pair of shoes, letting them take a hot shower, and having them wash dishes, sweep floors, wipe tables or just talk. That is what is so cool about what we get to do — it’s just everyday activities that reach people and let them see the real Jesus, not the one we have made up in our minds or seen in the religious crowd.
We know that many people dont understand what we do and why we do it, so I want to try to put it into words the best I can: WE LOVE PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE, plain and simple. I know Jesus spent a lot of time around the dinner table (thanks to my friend Brett) and showed that He was willing to sit down with people that most saw as outcasts. We have also seen that most of His ministry was not done in the church or temple, but in the community, homes, and streets. We feel that if it was good enough for Him, it is good enough for us. This is a long and messy process sometimes, and it takes just being there and letting God do everything else. Sometimes we make this so much harder then it has to be. Jesus showed us the way to get into people’s lives, love them and take them as they are, and then be there for them.
This is all very overwhelming at times, but we know that when we are in so deep we can’t depend on our knowledge, strength, skills, or our own abilities, we have to depend on Him, and that’s when he is REAL to us.
God keeps stretching us in ways we never could have imagined, sometimes to the point of not being able to breathe. Then, He does something or sends someone with an encouraging word that just shows us He is in control. Who would have thought two years ago we would be starting our third location in three different churches and denominations. We have seen the vision of Ransom come to pass in ways only God could do. We have seen people come together no matter what church they are a member of to reach the needs of their community, and it is so exciting to be a part of.
One thing we need everyone to realize is that a great way to plug into this ministry is to come in and eat with those you might not get to meet in your day-to-day life. So next time you are thinking about going to lunch at one of the many restaurants in Mobile, come out to a Ransom location near you, and know your money is going to help others understand God’s love and see it come to life. Hey, you might even meet someone who could change your life — I know we have.
I guess to sum it all up, God has been teaching us that this life is not about us; it’s about Him. We also have seen that this ministry is for everyone because everyone has needs and struggles with something, no matter how it looks on the outside. I know we do, and this has allowed us to see that He is there for us.
I know that God has made each of us with a purpose, and for a long time I searched for mine. Now I know this is what He made me to do. I must admit, there are days I wonder why, but then again it doesn’t matter!
Ask God what He wants you to do with this life He has blessed you with. He will use you no matter where you are. So just surrender and give it to Him. My prayer for you is to just step out there and see how He will hold you up when you don’t think you can go on.