“The Lord God is with you wherever you go…”

youth serving at Central Union Mission

A Day of Service

Members of Fourth Church recently spent a day of service at Central Union Mission in Washington, D.C. The Mission has long been a pillar of Christian service in this community by providing an emergency shelter and restoration ministries for homeless men — it is one of our valued Mission DMV ministry partners.

The shelter is located in the heart of the District where homelessness cannot be ignored — a few people can be seen sprawled on the grassy areas around the Mission; next to the facility on Massachusetts Avenue people are asking for money; and a few blocks away, a tent city has taken over one side of Union Station.

Warm Beds, Encouraging Words

A group of our youth spent the afternoon preparing the dormitory for “overnight guests” — a space where as many as 170 men at a time can find relief from the cold and spend the night safely and comfortably. The kids were busy sorting sheets, making beds, and cleaning and sanitizing the three sleeping areas. They then prayed over each bed as they visualized a man with no bed of his own sleeping there … and asked for God’s peace and protection.

Before hearing a staff member’s testimony of God’s rescue from a life on the streets, they finished the day by writing compassionate notes of encouragement and placing them on each bed. These young people were experiencing God’s amazing, merciful love in a very real and tangible way … among the homeless!

After another group of volunteers served dinner to the men, a Fourth worship team led a chapel service: One of our members humbly shared how he confronted sin in his life and came to Christ; a praise team passionately sang “In Christ Alone”; and Manuwa Eligwe, our pastoral intern, delivered a profound message entitled, “You Must be Born Again in Christ.” Just as we at Fourth routinely come from our homes with a yearning to worship, these men willingly came from the streets, not just to be fed a meal, but to be fed the word of God and to worship Him!

Faith, Courage, and Overcoming Fear

After the chapel service, something remarkable happened (reported by Rev. Ron Meyer, who led the service):

“A sweet gentleman came up to me and asked if he could speak with me. He pulled a book from his carry bag, a hand-written note from residentdevotional, which he said he had read that morning. He said the devotion concluded with a question, a prompt that asked what one got out of the reading, what difference did the reading make in your life? I could tell this gentleman was disciplined and serious about that devotion. He showed me what he wrote in response to that question on a piece of paper in his bag. On the paper was written ‘faith, courage, and overcoming fear.'”

Then he showed me the note one of our kids wrote and placed on his bed. He was overwhelmed as he gave it to me. “This was on my bed!” I opened the note and read from Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I told him, ‘One of our kids, who served earlier, wrote that to you.’ He was intelligent, gracious, humble, and felt that the Lord had spoken directly to him through it. As he walked away, he said this was his first night ever in the shelter.”

Lord God, we are grateful for another day of service, of witness of thy love!

—Larry Huff, Mission DMV Ministry Chair



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