Going On Mission

In Tulsa, there are many apartment buildings and communities that provide housing assistance to those in need. “Christ for Humanity” is an organization that, with the help of many partners, provides food and care packages.  Rich Bartlett is one of the intake specialists at CFH and asked me to be a regular speaker at one of their drop off locations. 

I have now been honored to represent Christ a number of times.  This particular building  has a wide range of residents.  Some residents seem like your average Joe/Jane,  but due to unfortunate circumstance have needed a “reboot” in life.  Some deal with physical limitations that limit their options, others have mental handicaps and may always require a case worker or assisted living. 

This is not an environment for a young preacher wanting to climb the rungs of a pastorate.  This is the mission field. It’s right here in Tulsa.  It is tough emotionally, spiritually draining, and often dirty work.  What will you do when one of these “least” among us, wants a hug or to shake your hand? 

I’m reminded of the time Jesus was approached by the man with leprosy. Can you imagine the shock on the disciple’s faces when Jesus didn’t recoil, but instead, touched the sick and diseased man? 

I’m reminded of the stories of the nurses that remained in England during the Bubonic Plague to care for the dying, knowing that to stay was a death sentence for themselves. 

I’m reminded of the nurses today that face the daily fear of COVID after watching patients die in their care.

Who am I to let bedbugs, nats, or fleas keep me from telling these people about Jesus?  Most come to the meeting because of the promise of a care package, but I have seen they also come to receive some measure of hope. They need to know that someone loves them.  They hunger for something more than just the food in the boxes. 

Each meeting I have faithfully shared the Gospel and offered a prayer of salvation.  I don’t keep score or ask them to reveal what is happening in their hearts.  But I am certain, that many are praying with me as I again ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins, to come into my heart, and be my Savior and Lord.

My fears are easily dismissed with a little hand sanitizer, and when I get home, a quick shower and change of clothes. But the joy of sharing Jesus is eternal.  Make the effort.  Risk the consequences.  God sees… and remember, they will know we are christians by our love.