Who is responsible for all these sufferings?

As he walked along, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”- John 9:1-5

Is someone to be blamed for all this pain and suffering? The Book of Job grappled with this question.  Job’s friends tried to convince him that he was responsible for his predicaments. It was because of sin in his life, they said.  Job answered that no one is truly innocent and therefore no one can really approach God with clean hands and hearts on his own merit. Yet, Job still believed that a grave injustice was done to him. He wanted an answer from God.

The question is repeated in the gospel text above. Who is responsible for this man’s blindness? This was the question. Why do we need to know who is to be blamed? I guess it is because in our minds, we think that we should only help those who deserve to be helped and not waste our time with those who brought suffering upon themselves by their actions. This is the way the world thinks and the apostles wanted to know what Jesus’ thoughts were on this matter. The answer Jesus gave them was actually quite disturbing.

Jesus said, “he was born blind so that God’s work might be revealed in him.” 

Is Jesus saying that this man suffered all his life with blindness just so that God could be glorified? Is God so cruel as to allow people to suffer most of their life so that He looks good in the end? This God would not be the good news for any one especially the poor and the needy. I cannot tell the homeless children that they are orphaned and abandoned because God wants to glorify His Name. I would have no message for these homeless people if we believe in such a God.

Jesus was not trying to answer to question of suffering and pain. Jesus was addressing the question of blaming the victim. I have heard people speak against giving drug addicted homeless children and adults food because they might use the money they have leftover to buy drugs instead of food. We are concerned about whether the poor deserve our sympathy and compassion so much so that we forget that there might be a deeper spiritual purpose for the presence of the poor. Maybe God allows this suffering and pain to exist in this world so that it would be an opportunity for us to participate in the divinity of God by being His instrument of Love.

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)

We should not despair that the world has problems and sufferings. It is part of the living in this tragic fallen world. These things are a constant reminder to us that God is not done with this world yet. The peace that He promised has yet to come to full bloom. However, it is time for those who are called and set aside to be His instruments to reach out to those who are despised and forgotten. It is not our role to figure out whether the people we are helping are worthy of love and compassion. Most likely, they are not worthy of it just like us. God loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Now, it is our chance to reveal the unconditional love of God to those who suffer in this world.

In the Book of Job, the friends of Job were reproved because they failed to show compassion to the one who was suffering. As Christians, God calls us not to throw up our arms and despair in the face of pain and suffering in this world; He asks us to go into the world and face these situations in order to reveal the unconditional love of God.

Jesus was not saying that God made the man blind so that he would be glorified. Jesus is saying that his blindness, which is a tragic circumstance of Life, is an opportunity to reveal a greater force of Love that exists in this world.

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A Successful Christian Ministry

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.-John 4:24

I would like to start with the subject of failure. Unfortunately it is something that we encounter quite frequently. We jokingly say that it has become an unspoken prerequisite  for anyone who wants to work in this ministry. They have to be people who are willing to fail.

In our ministry, we are asking people to make a radical change in their lives. Very few people are willing drop everything they have and have known for something radically new and uncertain. Albeit, they are living in the streets and for most of us, a change in this situation would be a no-brainer. However, let’s look at the same situation from a different perspective. Let’s say your friend is a millionaire and is obsessed with work to the point that it is destroying his personal life. He needs to radically change his life. Most likely, he must choose between giving up his luxurious and wealthy lifestyle for something simpler or die a sad rich man. It is a no-brainer, but we know what the majority of the people would choose. Most people would prefer to have the best of both worlds. To change one’s life, one has to give up things of the past to move into the future. Not many are willing to do this even when things are certain. However, the straight and narrow path towards Life is not a certain and easy path.  Jesus said that only few will choose the narrow road so we know from the beginning that our ministry is not going to be very successful in the material sense. We are not going to bring a busload of people through the narrow road of Life. It is doomed to failure; so then, why bother doing it? Well, it is about worship. We are in the streets to worship God. Perhaps it is quite unconventional to think about service as worship. However, when Jesus said that God is Spirit, He drastically changed the way we are to worship God.

God who is Spirit is not confined in space and time. This means that the presence of God is not limited to the temple or churches. He is present everywhere and He is present nowhere specifically. There is not a place that can contain Him fully and everywhere is the place and time for us to seek and meet Him. Worship is an encounter with God. If God is everywhere, then every encounter with Him leads to worship. Proper worship is to honor and glorify the presence of God.

Our worship of the God who is Spirit needs to change our idea of success. It cannot be a superficial change. It has to be a true and profound change in the way we understand the world. So, how do I gauge success? Well, the point of worship is to encounter God in our reality. The encounter should change our perception of reality to see the Truth. The Truth is that the very essence of God is Love. His presence, therefore, emanates Love so much so that it changes the environment. We cannot recognize this loving Presence if we ourselves are not intoxicated with this Love. We need to know first that God loves us and then this helps us to identify His loving presence in the streets. It also shapes the way we work in the streets. This Love informs us how to serve those who living in the streets. In a way, it is not necessary that we see any physical success as much as we desire that personally. It is more important to see that God is present and in His presence, Love is always manifested. It is the knowledge of this Love that enriches our lives. This is the meaning of a successful life in Christ Jesus.

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From Water to Spirit and Truth

The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)-John 4:9

This woman went to the well late. Usually one would draw water first thing in the morning, but she went at noon time. She was alone at the well and most likely she wanted to be alone. She had good reasons to do this. It was better this way. She chose to separate herself from others voluntarily. However, Jesus disrupted her plans.

The conversation between them is really interesting. They were both talking at different levels. Jesus initiated the conversation at the material level and brought it up from there. She was trying to keep things at a material level. She wanted to keep the conversation on the subject of water. Water was just an excuse the Lord used to bring this woman to new level of spirituality. Jesus wanted to her to become a true worshiper.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.-John 4:23-24

This verse above is the heart of the story. In order to get to this point, it was necessary for this woman to recognize that Jesus had something to give. However, Jesus could not give her anything until she was willing to face the Truth about herself. And she did. She confessed that she had five husbands and was presently in an adulterous relationship. This was why she went to the well late. It was not because she was a Samaritan. They were in Samaritan city and there was no need for them to hide from the Jews. However, her circumstances made her an outcast among a people who were already marginalized. She was considered the lowest of the lowest. Yet, she was the person with whom Jesus chose to share the Truth. She was not ready for it until she admitted to him why she was marginalized. The surprising twist is that Jesus did not dwell on this. He just wanted her to know that He knew about her life and this did not change His mind. She was still His candidate to become a true worshiper.

Jesus started the conversation with water and brought the conversation level up to true meaning of worship. He really knows how to talk up. It started with water, one of the basic material elements and the discussion went on to speak about the essence of God being Spirit. Today the conversations in the Church seem to go the other way round. It seems like everything is being reduced to materialistic notions. Success is gauged on materialistic standards. Today the person that Christians want to emulate is no longer the saint who embraced poverty but the financially successful businessman. I know a group of Christians who skipped an important Church service to attend a talk on how to become a millionaire in five years. If they were at the well with Jesus, they would left Him there and went to this conference. 

In the church, we are still talking about water when Jesus wants to take the conversation upwards to worshipping God in Spirit and Truth. We will never hear the words of Jesus unless we are willing to leave behind our materialistic desires. We cannot have the best both worlds. For the true worshiper, only knowing how to worship in Spirit and Truth can satisfy the soul.

In our ministry, we see the failure of the materialistic mindset. It is not a compassionate mindset. It is a mindset that does not have room for mistakes or failures. Jesus approached a woman who was considered a failure in this world. She failed five times in her marriages and yet she was His choice to be a true worshiper.  God is Spirit and He is not confined by our materialistic notions of success or failure. He is defined by one thing and one thing only. St. John tells us that God is Love. Love is the standard by which God defines a successful person. It is the standard by which we learn to become true worshipers of God.

 

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Cooking with Yuri: Suelen’s Story

But when I looked for good, evil came to me; And when I waited for light, then came darkness.-Job 30:26

Many things have happened since we last cooked with Yuri. However, I cannot give a proper update without telling the story of Yuri’s courageous sister, Suelen. In my previous post about Yuri, I mentioned that Yuri’s father abandoned the family when the children were very young. Then something tragic happened to one of the boys in the family which changed their lives forever. It was something that hit the national news but I don’t think that it is appropriate for me to go into the details here. It was the final straw for their mother and she lost all grasp of reality. She started using crack and eventually ended up living in the streets in Cracolândia. The children were left to themselves with no adult presence. The three boys accepted their so-called fate and became homeless in the streets where they engaged in crime and drug abuse. Sueli was left alone with her youngest sister who was barely nine years old. Suelen herself was only about fifteen. She refused to allow circumstance to determine her life. She refused to consider homelessness as an option. She wanted to take care of her little sister. In this vulnerable state, she got involved with young man who initially appeared to be a godsend but then out to be a nightmare.  He was physically abusive and got involved with drug trafficking. She had a son with him. When she turned 18, she decided to leave him. She packed her bags and left her boyfriend with her child and youngest sister but they had no place to go.

This was about the time the team met Suelen. Yuri was incarcerated and he wanted to get in touch with his sister whom he considered as his only chance for a better life. The team took all the information we had regarding Suelen and searched for her. It took a while but we finally found her taking shelter in single room which was actually rented by another friend. This friend was a physically handicapped man who lived on his disability check which was hardly anything.  However, with the little he had, he opened up his home which was a tiny room for Suelen and her family. This man did this without any hidden intentions. It was out of pure generosity. The team managed to find ways to get Suelen the help she needed and she eventually rented a small apartment in the outskirts of São Paulo. Suelen never asked for a single cent. She worked for everything. Our mission managed to raise some funds to pay for the youngest sister’s school uniform and other educational expenses. Suelen eventually met a younger man whom she married and now they can support the household with two incomes. They earn enough to survive and provide a safe environment for the children but it is still quite financially fragile. Suelen unexpectedly became pregnant and this happened at the same time as Yuri got out of the Juvenile Detention Center. Sueli and her husband opened their tiny apartment up for him.

Everything seem to be going well for Suelen and her family then all of a sudden her long-lost mother showed up at her doorstep looking very pregnant. Suelen was expecting to deliver her child in two months time and her mother was due at the same time. Her mother was still a crack addict and has no intentions of giving up the habit. However, she wants Suelen to take care of her child. She made it clear that she was going to leave her child with Suelen and return to the streets. Sueli and her husband do not know what to do at this moment. However, Suelen knows that she cannot feed another mouth in her household. Yuri needs to return to school and complete his probation before he can get a job. Sueli’s mother is not mentally stable and does not think rationally.

I cited the verse from Job because I have been meeting a lot of Jobs recently. Suelen is a Job. She did not ask or deserve these troubles and sufferings. They just happened. There is no magic wand to wave and change this situation. Suelen and her husband want to get ahead in life but they have to consider what that means. Many of us limit the idea of getting ahead to finances. However, this is not going to happen for them. They are earning too low to even imagine a moment in their lives where they will be financially secure. If Suelen and her husband want to become financially stable they would have to kick Yuri out of the house and refuse to take care of the mother’s new child (her sibling). Only then, they might be able to get somewhere financially but they would lose their souls.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?-Matthew 16:26

Tough decisions await Suelen and her family and she called and talked to us about this. She does not expect us to have the answer. We are grateful for this because we have no answer. However, she wants to know where God is in the midst of it. She is not angry with God. Suelen has gone through enough in this life to know that God is present in the midst of all this. Sueli is a living testimony of God’s gracious presence in her life. She survived the odds to get where she is right now. She has actually ahead of us spiritually. She has experienced God’s goodness in ways which we cannot imagine. Through her troubles, she did not say “no” to Life even when everything around was teeming with negativity. Suelen is a Job and we called to be her friends in this difficult time. However, we don’t want to repeat the mistake of Job’s friends. She asks us to walk with her to discover the courage to say “Yes” to Life. We are going to wait with her to discover God as the foundation of our strength.

We are going to cook with Yuri this week again.

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When Better is not Good Enough

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. -John 3:1-3

Nicodemus was a seeker of the Truth. He saw a spirituality in Jesus that was new and unique. He wanted to better himself. He wanted to know more about Jesus’ doctrines so that he could be a better person. However, Jesus basically told him that better was just not good enough.

Jesus did not wait for Nicodemus to ask his question. He knew immediately the nature of the visit. Jesus did not preach a message of detachment from the world. This was the teaching of the Buddha. He too agreed with Jesus that better was not good enough. However, Jesus gave a very different answer to the spiritual problem. He told Nicodemus that one needs to be born of the spirit.  It was contrary to detachment from the world. Being born of the spirit was coming back to this life with all its problems and injustices with new understanding of reality. Christianity does not promise a change in the political and social structures of the world. There was very little said of social reforms in the gospels. However, it does talk about the person being transformed to see reality in a new Light. We cannot follow or even understand the teachings of Jesus without this new understanding. Those who limit themselves to doctrinal understanding of the faith are settling for a better spirituality or religion. Jesus tells us that this is not enough; better is just not good enough.

This is true in all aspects. In our work, the homeless would not leave the streets for better conditions. Better for them is not worth leaving the streets. They desire something new. In fact, people in all phases of life are always talking about change. They are always talking about the new or reinventing themselves. It seems like we know instinctively that we need something new. The old has shown itself to be lacking. However, we cannot create the new within ourselves. Churches or any religion cannot give or even usher the new. This is something beyond us. We cannot domesticate the forces that bring about the new.

Jesus said: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”(John 3:8)

The new that transforms our hearts and minds can only be done through the Spirit. No one has monopoly of the Spirit. The best we can do is to prepare ourselves for the Spirit. If we invest our time and energy in the old things or values that keep us imprison in the things of this reality, then we won’t be aware of the presence of the Spirit. Those who are seeking the new are aware of the futility of the old. These will understand the words of the Preacher in Ecclesiastes when he professed, “Vanity of vanities; All is vanity.”  Seeing the futility of the old is really the prerequisite that helps us prepare for the new.

We cannot produce the new within ourselves or others. All we can do is prepare ourselves to meet the One who can transform us from within. The preparation is knowing that we are part of the new. Many in the streets have seen the futility of the old but they do not know that they can be part of the new. However, the new has a place of them. This is the good news. The New is open to all but only few seek it.

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Deliver Us from False Optimism

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.-John 8:32

Over the past few months, we have been visiting a family that is living in a tiny abandoned house in a city outside of São Paulo. We met this family through one of the sons who lived in the streets. Presently he is incarcerated for dealing drugs. Unfortunately his two older brothers are also in detention centers for the same crime. We are working with this family to help them stop the cycle. However, we can see why the three older boys left this household. It was due to their living conditions. The streets were better than living in their house and yet this is all they have. They do not have a functioning sewage and consequently there are puddles of sewage water in the house. The walls of the rooms are moldy.  Besides this, there is hardly any privacy for the family members. This house is not fit for living but they do not have much of a choice. There are still three children ages 7 to 11 that are in danger of following the older siblings’ example. This is why we are working with this family. We want to stop these young ones from running away to the streets and embracing a life of crime and addiction.

One day the father of the household informed us that he had a leaky roof which was causing the house to flood even more. We asked him what he needed to fix the leak and he told us that fifty prefabricated roofing sheets should do the job. We got the money together and bought the sheets. When the day came for us to help him install the sheets, we saw the real problem for the leak. There were hardly any tiles on the roof. The materials we had were insufficient. We were shocked and a little discouraged. However, the father was optimistic. He was confident that what we had was sufficient to stop the leak. He was insistent that it would work but he was wrong. No amount of enthusiasm and optimism was going to change this fact. Some people would mistake this optimism as faith. However, Faith has nothing to do with false optimism. Having said this, none of us had the heart to take this false optimism away from him. It is this false optimism that sustains him. It gives him hope each morning to get out of bed. This man works hard but he does not earn enough to rent a house and feed his family. He can only do one or the other. He chooses to be optimistic because it is the only way he is able to put on a smile and face harsh reality. However, it would be foolish of us to confuse the smile for evidence of happiness.

Why is the Truth important? Why not just let the poor man continue in his false optimism? The poor man wants to be happy. He is seeking happiness like anyone else. He deserves to be happy. This is why the Truth need to be spoken.

True Happiness comes from knowing the Truth. The first step is perhaps to confront this false optimism. Falsity cannot be the foundation of any happiness. It can only lead to illusion and complete breakdown of the human spirit. Our motivation to work with this family is Love. It is not Love that comes from our own sense of morality but it is fruit of our own personal quest to know the Truth. Truth helped us understand the meaning of Love. Therefore, we cannot love someone honestly if we are going to abandon them to the destructive consequences of false optimism.

We don’t have the monopoly of the Truth. We need to seek Truth together with this man. His false optimism has made us question our own notions of happiness. It made us question whether we are putting all our eggs in the wrong basket, a basket that does not exist. It makes us wonder whether we are not succumbing to false optimism. We need to challenge ourselves with the Truth. We don’t go to this family thinking we know everything. We only know that our happiness lies in the Truth and we need to have courage to tear down the walls of false optimism to seek it. Love is the key that helps unlock the Truth. When we allow Love to bring us to places and people to serve, we find ourselves walking closer to the Truth. It frees us from the shackles of false optimism.

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The Temptations of Life

After Jesus was baptized, he was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.-Matt 4:1-11

Like most people, I was hooked on the series, Breaking Bad, for a while at least. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, Breaking bad is a series about a high school teacher, Walter White, who was the epitome of an average guy with regular family and work issues until he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Then he decided to do something radical. He used his talent as a gifted chemist to manufacture methamphetamine to be sold illegally. His primary reason for doing this was to ensure that his family would be financially stable when he dies. Eventually, his cancer went into remission, unfortunately by this time, he had bigger problems than his cancer. He became addicted to power and wanted to become a powerful drug kingpin. I heard an interview with one of the main actors in the series and he was amazed to find the number of people rooting for Walter White regardless of what he had done. I think it is because people can identify with Walter White. He is a family man who looked out for his family. This appears to be a noble cause but appearances can be deceiving. I was reminded of the story of Walter White when I reflected on the gospel text for this week (Matthew 4:1-11).

I have read the story of the temptation of Christ countless times. I often read it as if it was something Jesus experienced in a mystical way and had very little to do with our practical existence. However, for some reason, it hit me today that this story is really about our day to day practical living.

In the New Testament times, cities were a safe place and the desert was a place where you were left unprotected. It was not a place of retreat, but a place of confrontation with brutal forces of nature. Jesus went into the wilderness to reflect on the harsh reality of life. In the wilderness, all the facade of life fades away and you are faced with the Truth. In the face of Truth, a decision awaits each of us. Jesus waited for years before he went into the wilderness. You need some preparation to face the harsh Truth of life. Unfortunately, not everyone is prepared when entering the wilderness. Some are pushed into the wilderness too soon and forced to make decisions without any understanding and wisdom like the homeless children in our ministry. Some try their best to avoid the wilderness. They choose to live their lives on the surface where it is safe. Unfortunately for these, they will never experience Life.  The wilderness is not an option. We have to go through the wilderness if we want to live an abundant life. We have to go into it prepared to face the devil. The devil waits for us in the wilderness.

I just want to focus on the first temptation in this posting. It is the most reasonable temptation. Jesus was hungry and he had the power to transform stones into bread. So, why not do it?

The answer to this question is that which separates us from the world. If we believe that God is God, then God needs to be real in our everyday situation. If we believe that God is good, then we need to trust His goodness in our everyday existence. If our faith in God does not inform our everyday decisions, then it is pretty much useless. Faith becomes nothing more than a theoretical exercise. In the wilderness, we decide what kind of God we want to trust. Jesus thought that it was pointless to trust in a theoretical God in our harsh reality. He trusted in the living God who is present in His life in a real way.

“One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

The very notion of a God who speaks is to show us that God acts in our lives. God’s words are synonymous with actions. His speaking reveals that He speaks into our reality. He is a personal God. This is the part that most good people (agnostics and otherwise) have a hard time with. We need faith to see God acting in our very existence. The devil wants to reduce God into something theoretical. He is quite successful. In this world, we have many theoretical theists and practical atheists.

Many, if not all, of the homeless children and adults have faith in a doctrinal God. A God who watches over them but is helpless to help them transform their existential situation. This God is not worthy our adoration because he is not active in our reality. The God of Jesus is a God who acts in our reality. Jesus did not need to abuse the power He was given to get what He wanted.  Those who use scripture and religion to get what they want do not believe in the God of Jesus. In order to believe the God of Jesus we have to trust that He will act. Not in a whimsical way. He acts in the harsh reality of our lives. It is not easy to trust in this God. The devil offers an easy way out. This is always the choice offered in the wilderness; the easy way to self-destruction or the hard way to abundant life where we see God in action.

 

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Regaining our Humanity Through Repentance

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”- Mark 1:15

This was the sermon Jesus preached at the beginning of his ministry according to the gospel of Mark. The message is simple but it is hard to preach. We are afraid to preach the message of repentance because it sounds judgmental. It is easier for us to speak about the compassion and love of God and avoid the subject of repentance. We like to leave it for the last. Jesus began his ministry with the message of repentance. The gospel Jesus preached was a message of Love and Compassion and Repentance is the very core of the gospel. To omit the message of repentance is to dilute the meaning of the gospel. It is inevitable. We need to preach about repentance if we want to see the power of the evangelical message manifested in our lives.

Jesus did not preach the gospel shouting at people on a street corner to repent. Perhaps we would like to imagine he did this at the sermon on the mount. We forget that people who heard Jesus preached said that he did it with authority. It was this authority that drew people to listen to Jesus even when he had harsh words to say. Whenever I see people so-called preaching in the streets, I don’t see people being drawn to the preacher. At best people might walk pass and feel sorry for the good-intentioned soul and at worse they might think he is a lunatic and make fun of him.

What was Jesus’ authority?

It was not knowledge because the pharisees and scribes had knowledge as well. It was not credentials because Jesus had none. The only difference between Jesus and the spiritual leaders of his time was that Jesus had compassion. The gospel records in numerous accounts when Jesus was moved with compassion. Compassion and love are inseparable. It is different from feeling pity or sorry. Feeling sorry for someone does not move us into action. In fact, it is quite condescending. No one wants people to feel sorry for them. Compassion is different. It moves our soul. It makes us try to understand. It makes us walk with those who suffer and walk alone.

Our message of repentance must flow out of genuine compassion. Most of the homeless children and adults are in the streets for variety of reasons. They are not responsible for many things that led them to the streets but they still need to repent. The meaning of repentance is a change of lifestyle. Our friends who are homeless have to recognize that they have made the choice to use drugs, steal and reject their families and friends.  They chose a destructive lifestyle even though they might not have had many choices. It is important for them to know that they made a choice to be in the streets because it helps them gain control of their lives. Recognizing that they had a choice gives them back their humanity. When we neglect to preach a message of repentance to these littles ones, then we continue to dehumanize them. We continue to subject them to the lie that they are helpless victims. Repentance presents a choice to them. It gives a choice to be free from the lies and shackles that dehumanize them. It is the first step towards regaining their humanity.

Repentance is universal. It does not matter who we are, we can be a homeless person or a CEO of prosperous company. Repentance is applicable to everyone. It demands that we ask ourselves whether our life choices are bringing about the person that God intended us to be. Are we reflecting the image of God in our lives in all areas?

Most of the homeless people have forgotten that they can make choices. We are here to remind that they are humans and that they can make choices. However, only Love can give them the courage to make the choice for repentance.  We cannot preach the gospel effectively to the homeless, the prisoners, the orphans and the widows if we do not love them. It is love that is going to help them hear the message of repentance. It is love that is going to give them the strength to repent. There cannot be true healing in the lives of these people without repentance and they cannot hear the message of repentance if it is not preached with compassion and love.

 

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