This is Dutch – the homeless man that sits at the door of Impact! Church. Dutch is mentally challenged. Some think he has borderline personality disorder and others just think he is “off”. Dutch has no home and no money. He has no police record, no family and no way to find out about his life. He claims the “feds are after him” and will not give a legitimate Social Security number so we can find out who he really is. He is simply known as Dutch and has been living on the streets of our neighborhood for over 15 years.
He showed up at Impact! Church soon after we moved into the Parker Street community and has never left. He refuses to go to an assisted living facility and has never done anything violent to warrant the authorities assigning him to one. He claims that he is our security detail and spends every day “guarding” the front doors of Impact! Church. Sometimes he sits outside the door, but when it gets especially hot he sits right inside the door. He welcomes folks to Impact!, talks to them about God and invites them to church. Every Monday morning I meet with him so he can critique the worship service and sermon from the previous day. His best friend is a 7-year-old girl named Lauren – the child of an Impact! leader. Lauren and Dutch love to watch Disney movies on her iPad. The technology amazes Dutch. At night he arranges a few cushioned chairs together in our sanctuary to form a bed. We always make sure that Dutch has plenty of clothes, food, medicine and hygiene products. Dutch basically lives at Impact! Church 24/7/365 because he has no where else to go.
At Impact ! Church Dutch is not considered “charity case”, but a true friend and brother. We didn’t choose Dutch, Dutch chose us – which is quite an honor! He has been to my house for showers, sits in on leadership meetings, enjoyed holidays at one of our homes, challenges us to regular corn hole games and actively helps us lead people to Jesus Christ. He is the exact reason God called Impact! Church to this community. In essence Dutch is Impact! Church…and we love that!