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THE CHRISTIAN WORK ETHIC NEWSLETTER
Hello from beautiful Memphis, Tennessee one of our satellite locations.
I am here conducting Operation Uplift living on the streets with the homeless and teaching them how to escape from this living hell through becoming employed. I thank God for each one whom He places in my pathway whether in New York City, Washington DC, or Charlotte, North Carolina.
And, I am so thankful for all of the precious memories since undertaking this assignment within Worker Ministries starting in 2010.
In Chapter 2 in the Book of James. he addresses the sin of discrimination and showing favoritism. He says…
“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
I can not read such truth without thinking about Leo Gnawa, a homeless young man who was sitting on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on a cold rainy night. He told me he had been able to obtain a computer which he kept in his tent enabling him to write a book entitled Homeless Lives Matter. It is all about thousands of men and women who every night sleep outside on sidewalks and corners, under bridges, on the sides of buildings, in bushes, on public benches, in train and bus stations and anywhere else where they can find a place to sleep at least for a night.
As I read Leo's description about how the homeless are treated, sad memories come to mind as I have witnessed so many who pass by a homeless person totally ignoring that one in poverty…..never even saying “Good Morning” or “Good Evening”.
How about someone who will actually spit on a homeless individual or curse that impoverished one and never one time understand that the same God who made him or her made that person whom they are trying to degrade.
Until I began working with these precious souls, I will tell you I, too, was totally ignorant of their condition. I tended to believe some of the many lies that are often attached to all of them using the broad brush. How about…..
Homeless people are dirty.
I have counseled with over 2,000 such persons on an individualized basis. That means I am sitting on a park bench or am standing close to one whom I am serving. I never remember having to turn my head away because of the smell of body odor. They do find ways to clean themselves including stepping into a homeless shelter.
Homeless people are scam artists.
I actually find few who are asking for money. But, when that happens I must empathize and ask, “What would I do if I had no money but were hungry”. While working in Manhattan in January, that thought crossed my mind when I came in contact with an immigrant who could not speak English. He was reaching into a garbage can near one of the eateries in the basement of Grand Central Station searching for scraps of food. I immediately bought his lunch and walked away with a lump in my throat wondering how he would obtain his next meal.
Homeless people are violent criminals.
The truth is that most people experiencing homelessness are more likely to be victims of violence rather than the perpetrators. That includes those who refuse to sleep in a shelter for fear that the small amount of money in their possession might be stolen before they can awake.
Homeless people deserve to be homeless.
No person deserves to be homeless…..not one!
All homeless people are lazy!
In that the ministry I founded in 2000 promotes the Christian work ethic, this description is of special interest to me. If this is true, I had better get on the next plane out of Memphis because my efforts in helping them secure employment will be in vain.
The truth is we spend thousands of dollars every year in conducting Operation Uplift and it is because I know of so many who have been rescued and who are gainfully employed. The homeless population is a direct reflection of our general population in which some are lazy sluggards (Proverbs 6:9) but most people do not choose that path.
If all homeless people were lazy, Leo Gnawa would never have persevered in working on his book inside a tent even when there was snow on the ground and on top of the canvas (pictured on the front cover of his book).
James (Chapter 2) cuts through the chase and tells it like it is about any discrimination including false accusations made about any group of individuals.
." 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."
My prayer for the homeless is that they will come to know that God has a purpose in creating them, that He has given them talents and abilities……. that He expects them to fulfill their calling and not waste away their lives.
I ask that you join with me and pray for the homeless and you will pray that God will place those in my pathway here in Memphis who need our counseling enabling them to be uplifted through finding employment.
As a personal footnote to this month’s newsletter: my Nephew Michael’s wife, Nish, passed away suddenly at the age of 44 leaving two twin children, Michael III and Abigail. I ask that you please join with me in praying for Michael and the children and all other loved ones in this family during this very difficult time.
I invite you to join me on our You Tube channel. Click below and you will find 28 recorded messages including one-minute presentations for those who have a heavy schedule:
I look forward to being with you in June. In the meantime, I must be about my Father's business.
Very truly yours,
Jim Hogsett, Writer for Guideposts Magazine and President/Founder at WORKER MINISTRIES WORLD HEADQUARTERS
END OF NEWSLETTER