A few weeks back we had a homeless lady come to Impact! Church. She was scared, alone and not thinking straight. She had been kicked out of every local shelter because of “behavior problems”. With the help of our hospital we were able to get her the medication she needed to emotionally function and started trying to help her rebuild her life. Over the past few weeks the Impact! volunteers helped her get a Florida ID, food stamps, new clothes, medical help, vocational training and ongoing counseling. She lived in our building at night, helped around the church during the day and attended multiple Impact! Bible studies each week. We helped her create a resume and started trying to help her get a job and a place to live. We saw her accept Jesus as her Savior and experienced the joy of watching her be baptized this past Sunday.
On Tuesday we got a call from a local business letting us know they wanted to hire her full time. On Wednesday we found out she had been accepted into a local transitional housing program. Everything that we had been praying for had come together. There was only one problem – she wasn’t around to take the job or move into the apartment. The day after she had been baptized she walked out of Impact! Church with a man she knew from the neighborhood, went to a local sleaze-bag motel and has been on a binge ever since. Multiple attempts to help her have been turned down. She has made the decision to return to a dead-end life.
Not all of the stories at Impact! Church have happy endings. This one left our volunteers devastated. It’s hard watching people give up what they want MOST for what they want NOW. It’s hurts to see satan win when victory in Jesus looks so close. It’s part of the pain we deal with working in a neighborhood like the Parker Street community.
But today is another day – and we have more spiritual battles to fight. Before the end of the day Impact! volunteers will have helped dozens get food, clothing and shelter, Before the end of the day we will have placed a few folks in transitional housing and vocational training. Before the end of the day some will have heard the Gospel and others will have experienced kindness in the midst of chaos. Before the end of the day we will have worked hard to love God, love people and make an impact!