Again, today was our monthly time of serving the homeless at St Vincent de Paul, which is a food kitchen, run by the Catholic Church as I understand it.
I always look forward to these days serving, for several reasons.
- The Bible commands that we give food and clothes to those who don’t have them (Luke 3:11).
- I need to have it reinforced to me how materially blessed and privileged I am.
- I love talking to the other groups serving alongside of us when we go come on because many times, they aren’t Christian.
Today was no exception. Unbelievably, in the three and a half hours I was there, I got into 6 conversations with people I didn’t know:
I spoke with a drug-addicted, ex-prostitute and formerly homeless woman who is now a Christian and who has been clean and sober for 60 days. We praised God for the work that He has done in her life.
I spoke with a young man, who claimed to be a Muslim, about Jesus. We got into a conversation about Christianity and Islam. During the conversation I showed him Surah 5:47-48:
“We caused Jesus, son of Mary to follow in their footsteps, fulfilling what had been revealed before him in the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, which contained guidance and light, fulfilling what was revealed before it in the Torah: a guide and an admonition to the God-fearing. Therefore, let those who follow the Gospel judge according to what God has revealed in it. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are rebellious.”
This essentially says that the Christian gospels are the word of God. So, the Quran, is saying that the Bible is accurate. But the Bible says that Jesus is God. And yet, Islam says that the worst sin a person can commit is the sin of shirk. That is, worshiping a man as God. And that is what Muslims say that Christians are doing. After I said that, he actually said, “Well, you beat me man”. I shared with this young gentleman that he needed to know the real Jesus, who is God. I encouraged him to look up a book by Nabeel Qureshi called “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” which recounts his journey from Islam to Christianity.
I spoke with a recent high-school graduate from our own church who I had never met. She was serving with us today, and I asked her if she still attends our church (because I hadn’t seen her there for a long time). She said she occasionally attends, and then I asked her if she considers herself to be a Christian and she essentially said no. I shared my testimony that I was saved at age 37, and at the end of the day I thanked her for being so honest and told her that it must have been difficult to admit what she did, while serving with a church group. I told her I would really like to talk about this more at some point in the future, and she agreed and thought that would be good.
After we had prepared all the food and tables, but before the people came in to eat, I was able to pray for the whole group (about 30 people) in Jesus’ name.
My job was doing the garbage. Wall I was tending to the garbage, I spoke with a security guy that I was hanging around where I was and we ended up talking about the homeless problem in Los Angeles, skid row, in the resurgence of typhoid there as compared with here in Phoenix, and we also ended up talking about transgenderism (he brought it up, not me), because of a few transgender people that were homeless and were being fed by us. He was of the mistaken impression that transgendered meant that the person had both the sex organs of a woman and of a man simultaneously and from birth. I was able to clarify that was not the case, and then went on to tell him about “gender dysphoria”.
I spoke to two Roman Catholic men, one was mopping the floor and the other I was separating and unpackaging bread with him.
And yes, believe it or not I did work. My job was taking out the garbage, as usual.
Overall, I would consider it a very blessed day for everyone involved!