God is good praise his Holy name!
Last night I felt a little bit fed up as I finished work and sat down for a little rest, not really wanting to go out. I had to visit the in-laws before outreach and felt like just curling up in bed or sitting in front of the TV. Outreach was the last thing I wanted to do. But over the years I have come to realise that it is in those moments that God has His greatest missions mapped out.
There had been a mix up with the food donation that we now receive to serve many other outreach teams, poor families, churches and community centres through Homeschool Social Enterprise and the Active Christians Ministry. These days our donations go as far as Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Bilston, Dudley…well you get the picture - all over!
The mix up in the donations meant that I had to revert to serving a hot drink and jam sandwiches – similar to when the outreach first started because that’s all I could afford.
As we went out last night we offered a prayer as that was what I was urged to do. So with a heavy heart, feeling ashamed that I only had jam sandwiches to offer, I set about God’s work.
It always amazes me how happy God’s angels are when I offer them jam sandwiches and they look at me with a warm smile and they say “oh yes please.” As usual, God had other plans.
I arrived at the bronze bull at 9pm and set about God’s work. I met a man sleeping in a doorway and offered him a hot drink and a jam sandwich. I asked him if he would like a prayer and he said “yes” and as I held his hand I felt a whoossssh. I suddenly felt ice cold and a deep sadness and pain. It’s as if part of my soul, my very essence had left me and I prayed for this man. I now know why Jesus said “who touched me?” Luke 8:45-46. It was a weird feeling as I felt part of this man’s pain.
I journeyed on and met Pastor Calvin. As we prayed together and carried on the outreach we met a young man in a wheelchair. I turned and said “hello” with a friendly voice.
He began to get angry at me and said, “who are you?” And he said “I don’t know you.”
I stepped back and at first I was shocked thinking I was just saying hello in an upbeat friendly way. I suddenly felt the Holy Spirit present to me how I knew him. I turned and said “I do know you.”
He shouted, “I do not know you!”
So revealing our association I said “the God I serve paid for the wheelchair that you’re in.” I then recounted the story of how his previous wheelchair had been stolen and his sister and her girlfriend (lover) were on the streets of Birmingham begging for enough money to buy another wheelchair. It so happened that during that week, my Ministry had been given £10,000 to hand out to the rough sleepers of Birmingham and I gave his sister a portion of this money. At that time she collapsed and shouted her little brothers name. I recall her saying “oh my God! I can buy him a wheelchair now!” And we prayed together with her and her girlfriend. I told him how she ran off to purchase a new wheelchair.
At that moment, I never saw a man deflate so much as he remembered all that had happen. He welled up with tears in his eyes and could not say sorry enough. I had to console him as he hugged me and kept apologising. He said “thank you,” we gave him a drink of hot chocolate and one of our famous jam sandwiches. I explained that a mystery donor had partnered with Active Christians to use this money to bless his hometown of Birmingham. The donor lived in the Far East and heard of what our ministry was doing and wanted to help. We prayed and thanked our saviour Jesus Christ, Yeshua for providing our mystery donor with the opportunity to know each other through faith.
Every outreach is not only heart filled with tears of sadness and joy, so much happens I have to dilute it down. Each night I could write a book with the stories of the people I meet, the miracles I see and the real effect of showing human kindness from a book that’s thousands of years old. If you read it and do what it’s says your whole life changes for the better, serving God by serving others. Isn’t the Bible wonderful?
I reflect on the fact that we are now all one in Christ and we all have the opportunity to connect with our creator. There is no more Jew or Gentile, black or white, just those who believe in love, compassion and following the will of Jesus through his example.
I look at Black History Month, the black empowerment movement and ask if we can pay closer attention to Deuteronomy 28? Understanding this chapter would bring a lot of clarity to the social iniquities that take place today taking into consideration the racial profile of the characters involved.
Matthew 7:7 - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
As we completed the outreach and walked on our way back to Colmore row we met a Muslim man sat in the doorway. He said, “hello teacher.” I did not recognise him at first. He said “how are you?” and we exchanged greetings. As we poured out a hot drink another Muslim man arrived. They did not know each other. He also greeted me and I recognised this gentleman. We exchange niceties and we held hands to pray.
I blessed them both in their native language “Asalamalakum” and we prayed. I felt a bright, light, warm sensation in my heart, an overwhelming love. And as we exchanged our love for God we could reflect on how long we had known each other and how grateful we are to the love of God.
One of the men asked me if I had any gloves. As I took mine off to give them to him he said “no my brother I could not take your gloves my friend. If you have spare I will take. I know you will give me yours but you need them.” Perhaps he heard about the time I took off my shoes and gave them to a homeless man then carried on the outreach without my shoes and socks? Such is the desperation on the streets.
God is amazing. When I’m low he comes and opens my cold heart to all the good works that he has me do.
Can we please pray to praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Father and the Holy Ghost for the heavenly outpouring of His love and ask for his guidance and protection for the Prime Minister, leaders of the Council Service, the West Midlands Mayor, our local Mayors, dignitaries and all the leaders that are appointed by God? Romans 13:1-10
Amen. May God bless you and peace be with you shalom. John 8-32