Outreach Part 1: Ministering to "the least of these"

My wife was shopping at our Kroger (not in Newport) when she came upon a lady who looked like she could use a little help.  Sarah engaged the lady, introduced herself and our kids, and began to talk about her situation.  I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say, it seemed that she and her husband had come upon very difficult circumstances, in a very short period of time, and were living rather day-to-day, or perhaps hour-by-hour.

The lady said she could use some bus fare to get to Newport.  Sarah gave her bus fare, but also invited her to church and said she'd hope to see her and her husband there if they could make it.  She thanked Sarah for the invite and said she'd so her best to be there.

That was on Tuesday.

Guess who showed up on Sunday morning?  She did!  I was told there was a guest asking to speak to me just before 9 AM.  I went downstairs, introduced  myself, and after a brief dialogue finally put the pieces together and realized this was the lady Sarah had run into earlier in the week.  I welcomed her and told her how glad I was that she could be with us.  Sarah wasn't there just yet, but I introduced her to some others in our church family, who took her to nearby Mammoth Cafe to get her something to eat, and then to a local Dollar Store for some supplies she was in need of.  Meanwhile, I grabbed another brother and we set out to find her husband (I was told he was outside, too embarrassed to come in).  By God's grace, we were able to extend an invitation to him to join us in church, which he eventually accepted, and the two of them were with our church family last Sunday.  They said they could use some bus fare, so I got them a TANK card with a few rides on it which they gladly accepted.  I invited them back to join us next week, and they said they'd certainly consider it as they truly enjoyed themselves and felt welcomed among us.

There haven't been TONS of occurrences like this one, but this is certainly not the only one.  The location God has our church meeting in gives us access to people we may otherwise never cross paths with. As God affords us these opportunities to reach out to the poor, the marginalized, those whom Jesus referred to as "the least of these" (Matt. 25), may we be found faithful to show others the love of Christ by meeting needs as we have opportunity, for His glory alone.  Let's talk about it a bit more at the Forum on Wednesday.  Hope to see you there!

More to come,

Peter
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