Thursday, December 22, 2011
Murder, The Homeless, Gifts, and Merry Christmas
For as long as I can remember, I have loved Christmas. I don’t recall always having the best Christmases, but I always remember the joy of the season. It took my adulthood before I think I fully appreciated the meaning of Christmas, and even as a Christian and follower of Jesus, it still took some time to come to a place where I think I got it, at least for me. It was unfortunately through many tough times that I finally think I got it.
Over the last number of years I have tried to spend some time studying the historical character of St. Nicholas; I think the real St. Nick got it, it was really more about serving others and sharing the love of Jesus with the least of these, including prisoners, the poor and children that he shared the true and ultimate gift of God’s son with others. It is in showing love that we share the ultimate love with others; there is no greater gift that was given to the people of planet earth more important than the promise of a savior who would be a deliverer of, the poor.
This Christmas as has the last few Christmases for me been rather unique. I seem to work and be busier than any other time of year. This year with the operation of the Mosaic Women’s Homeless Shelter the business of this season has been multiplied, but it has also provided the opportunity to see more blessings.
This Sunday is Christmas and Mosaic is having an Old Fashioned Family Christmas Celebration. It is still time for the Mosaic Family, including those on line and others to be a part of this celebration. We plan to open up the doors on Christmas morning at 8 AM. From 8 AM – 10:30 AM we will be having a time of fellowship with snacks, coffee, hot chocolate and other things of that nature. We will have Christmas music on in the background and will also have several times where we break out and just sing some songs together. At 10:30 Santa will be on hand to share the gift of Jesus and the love of Mosaic and her friends with the homeless. Those who had placed their names on the Angel Tree will be given their Christmas Presents, and any extra presents that come in will be handed out, by # and order of arrival to additional homeless people. Just a note here, last week, we had 57 homeless people attend our meeting and we have been averaging over 30 who are attending our Sunday Discussion time prior to the start of church. Those gifts will be given out accordingly and individuals will have the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa. We expect the celebration to end around 1 PM and people can come and go as they choose during those hours. We also have a large amount of clothing that has been provided by various groups that we will start giving out at 10:30 AM.
This week we have also had the reminder of the blessings of this church. We have seen it in an unfortunate way though with the recent murder of Marshall Haushulz. I spent some time with Marshall’s girlfriend last evening speaking to her and Darrell Durbin one of our homeless volunteers and church participants who gave Marshall his sleeping bag and camp location. I am very much aware of a lot that is going on in this investigation. As the number of suspects are coming down, and the police are narrowing in let me say this, this murder and some of the events surrounding it play into the need for the Mosaic Day program, church, and ministry that we carry out. I won’t go into detail, but as this investigation continues, many will know, God is using Mosaic, but there is more that can be done by Mosaic and her people. The bottom line though, the homeless of our city need a place to call home, not a place where they receive service, special treatment or things of that sort, but a place to call home, be treated with respect, and provided a safe atmosphere where they can come without the threat of being threatened, harassed or disrespected by service providers. I am honored and blessed that we have done what we can.
We started 4 years ago, Santa for the Homeless where we hand out items to the homeless and provide them love. This year we get to do it for the first time in our own church, downtown, where many of the homeless attend. There will be everything from coats to for some who requested it and more, cigarettes given out on Christmas day. The homeless, who are a part of our church, and many others, will get something they want for Christmas because God cares enough to provide not just our needs, but sometimes our wants. Jesus is the ultimate gift, and believe me, we will share that gift among all others. You are welcome to attend, or to donate to provide additional gifts to the homeless, or to just help meet Mosaic’s basic needs of being open. It is up to you, but above all, remember Jesus, the redeemer of the poor this Christmas. Remember the love, healing and salvation he provides for all people, whether the millionare who needs to be released from their pride, or a homeless person who needs the confidence of a meal or warmth for the night. Salvation implies not just salvation from the spiritual needs, but also the physical. For many in our city, they know, Mosaic is doing her part.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your continued prayers and support. We need them, and God is hearing them.
Please pray for our future, our needs, and those we are called to serve.
If you haven't please visit our web site where you can also contribute to the ministry at www.mosaicwichita.com you can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, we now have a way folks can contribute to Mosaic online. If interested in sharing with Mosaic online you can visit the following link and do so. Just designate what your gift is for when you donate, you can designate gifts for ‘general funds,’ ‘capitol campaign,’ or ‘homeless program.’
If the button doesn’t appear, you can give at the following link - https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=G6KQJMMUS72CA
All contributions to Mosaic are tax-deductible. If mailing contributions to Mosaic, you can send them to the following address:
216 S. Market St.
Wichita, KS 67202
Blessings to you and have a great week.
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