ON THE WAY MINISTRIES, GRACE TABERNACLE, AND ME
Robert and I have attended Grace Tabernacle for almost 10 years. If you told me six years ago that I would be where I am today, I would have laughed at you. I never saw myself as someone who could organize a group of people let alone be a leader. Yet, God, in His own time and in His wisdom, has done just that for me.
Grace Tabernacle's Pastor, Gary Washburn, is a strong supporter of On the Way Ministries as he has a heart for the homeless. Whether or not Pastor Washburn is aware of it, his Bible teachings, along with other Church ministries I had been involved in at Grace Tabernacle, have helped to prepare me for what God has called me to do.
I know for a fact that if God had left it up to me, I would peacefully be living my life on a day to day basis, seeing to the needs of my household, visiting family, fishing, vacationing, etc.. I was Content to go to church on Sundays, pay my tithes, check out Wednesday night church services on occasion, read my Bible and pray for my fellow man. Yep, stay in the background and watch everyone else do the hard work.
Now, do not misunderstand me. I have been on short-term mission trips to Central America, and helped others with outreach to the homeless. However, I was never a leader, always a follower. (Just ask my older sister, Kathy, about my being a follower). I was happy to allow others to lead and just tell me what needed to be done.
However, God. I look back now and amazingly see where He maneuvered my life and others around me to get me exactly where I never dreamed I would be. All I had to do with each new opportunity He brought along was to say, "Yes, Lord, I will do that".
The most amazing thing of all? I still have time to see to the needs my household, visit family, go fishing, go vacationing, in other words, I did not have to change a thing except my personal attitude about my personal relationship with God. And I have a much richer life because of my obedience to rise up to the occasion.
God has placed some amazing people in my life to work along side me with the homeless and we have met some fascinating people among the homeless as well.
It is a shame people put stigmas on other people before they even meet them let alone get to know them as human beings. The homeless have all the same feelings, dreams, and hopes that anyone else does. Yes, some are troubled with issues, but in all honesty, everyone has issues of one kind or another.
Some did not choose homelessness, it was forced upon them by the loss of a job and not being able to get another one. A few did choose homelessness, and for a few, poor life choices eventually forced them into the situation they are in. Some have no family to fall back on at all, and in all honesty, some have 'burned' the bridges between them and family.
There is way more to the situation then just telling them to "Get a Job". Think on this for a minute--- have you ever tried to get a good solid, full time job when you have no home address, no car to get to the job, or you have lost personal documents that identify who you are? Or you have no family to assist you at all?
Yes, some homeless people do work out of agencies such as Job Source, or pick up odd jobs around town, and use city transit to get back and forth. But that is work on a day to day basis. And there are some who are not capable of work due to disabilities, physical and/or mental.
So that is where we come in. Trying to help them retrieve their birth certificates, legal documents, etc. Provide bicycles so they have some type of transportation, and even an address they can use. We strive to hook them up with agencies that provide job retraining, job placement and physical/mental assistance as well. And it all takes finances.
God tells us in the Bible, "The poor will always be among us". He also tells us to help them.
So, now, you have a choice. Ask yourself, "What can I do to help the less fortunate?"
Consider giving a donation of clothing, blankets, tents, tarps, pillows or personal care items. Or you can go to the Contact Us page and send a financial donation via Grace Tabernacle.
Let me thank you in advance for your heart to help.
PAMELA J. UNRUH
Born and raised in Logan, Ohio, Pamela J. Wilson.
She moved to Florida where she met and married Robert Unruh and they reside in Leesburg Florida.
Pamela has been to Central America on short-term Mission outreach trips and has assisted with the homeless in Orlando, Florida.
She has two daughters, 7 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Her husband Robert has 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren.
Currently writing her first Christian novel, "From Out of the Mist", she is about to complete it and has started a second novel..