When I first traveled to Kenya with my wife, God really opened my eyes to how people of different statuses are created in His image. This means they deserve the same love and dignity as anyone else. I felt moved by this, and wanted a practical way to apply it when I returned home to the States.
God answered my prayers when I was job searching. I looked for business management positions, but He called me to work for a homeless ministry. Created in His image, people who live outside deserve the same love and dignity as anyone else. Since Covid, most major cities have seen a huge increase in homelessness, and the needs are great.
I work for an organization called People Loving Nashville. It started on Thanksgiving fifteen years ago when God put it on one man’s heart to serve. He packaged up five extra Thanksgiving dinners and went downtown with some friends to hand them out. It grew into a full-scale network of help for those without housing. Now, the initial five meals have become 350-400 each week.
We regularly go to homeless encampments and talk with people. We often end up talking about Jesus. We partner with local churches who invite people into their community groups and Bible studies.
When unhoused people join our program, they get help with things such as physical health, hygiene, haircuts, mental health therapy, trauma healing, addiction recovery, resume writing, job training skills, and financial management.
Our evidence-based practices offer urgent assistance and long-term solutions. With my background in business, I create businesses such as Paradeisos Coffee Company and employ people who have recently navigated off the streets.
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus identifies with “the least of these” and specifically discusses giving to those needing food, shelter and clothing. When someone asks what He’s talking about, He replies, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” That is how much these people are created in His image: Jesus says what we do for them, we are doing for Him.
I’m honored to see God at work in and through the image-bearers I meet on the streets.