Predictions of a bitterly cold New Year’s Eve concerned some Memphis-Raleigh, Memphis, Tenn., members because of the homeless population. One of the members called a few police departments to find out where the homeless people frequent. Three different officers said, “The warming center at a public library.” A call was made to library personnel who gave permission to bring in food on New Year’s Eve. With permission granted, the members got busy. One member prayed they would have enough food.
Fourteen people had spent the night at the shelter the week before, so the members prepared for 25. Arriving at the shelter shortly after 9 p.m., they were welcomed in to find 60 homeless people, including children, with inadequate clothing. Fortunately, they brought warm clothing and blankets to share.
God answered prayer, and the last person received the last cup of soup! After the clothing and blankets were distributed, one member asked if they could pray with the people, and the answer was, “Sure.” They went around the room praying with people and giving them a GLOW tract titled, “Does God Care When You’re Hurting?” Then an officer called out, “Come here!” He was not happy and asked, “Who gave you permission to do all of this?”
The story of the phone calls, accompanied with multiple apologies for the misunderstanding, poured forth. Apparently that was the first night that the city had made plans to feed the homeless, and he had thought they were sent by the city; if he’d known who they were he would not have let them in. Quietly the members listened until at last, after a pause, he said, “I really appreciate what you did. I’m a Christian too.”
God’s grace had been with them. They fed, clothed, and shared God’s love before being asked to leave. The group praised God for an excellent New Year’s Eve!
Kentucky-Tennessee | May 2018