We Know Where They Live — We Know Where They Sleep

My friend, Mindy, and I just attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit in Billings, MT, to volunteer at the Compassion International table.   Several children were sponsored and some people asked specifically about the Leadership Development ProgramMichelle Tolentino’s testimony had a huge impact on several people.  We enjoyed listening to the speakers throughout the two days, and gained some real good principles for life.

When the conference was over, we left to look at another large church and found it to be open.  We saw an ambulance outside, and wondered if someone was hurt.  Then, since it didn’t look too serious, we went on into the church to have a look around.  Teenagers were coming to and from the ambulance carrying containers, holding doors for us, and being friendly.  When we left, I happened to notice what the ambulance said on the side.  Take a look below.

I said to the kids, “This is so cool!  Can I take photos?”  They agreed, and then I asked the magic question:  “What are you going to do?  What are you using it for?”  I figured it was for fun youth outings, object lessons, camps, etc.  I never expected the answer they gave —  “Oh, we’re going out to take food and supplies to homeless people.  We know where they live.  We know how to find them.  We know where they sleep.”

We were stunned.  “Are you kidding?” I said.  “That is what we’re all about — We’re Compassion Advocates, and we’re all about helping children in poverty!”  One of the girls said, “Oh!  Compassion International?  I just sponsored a child through Compassion a week ago, and I have a question for you.  How do I send in my payment?”  This precious young girl was not only helping the poor in her own town, but also abroad.  What a beautiful example!

Well, well.  God had engineered this meeting at the exact right moment — she had a question I could answer.  But greater than that was the example these kids were to us.  We were so touched by their service, that when they took off quickly (you could almost hear the siren wailing and see the lights blinking as they literally peeled out of the parking lot to help others in need) we could only sit in the car and cry.  Once we started to compose ourselves, we had the thought that we should’ve asked to go with them, or at least to have been “ambulance chasers.”  How blessed it would’ve been to watch this outpouring of love in action.  We actually went out looking for them, but could not find them.  They were with the poor and needy.  We know where they live.  We know how to find them.  We know where they sleep.  As it turns out, these kids go out at least two times/week for three hours each time. There was a street dance in town that night, but they weren’t at the street dance; they were being channels of love to others in need. 

This was a great example of leadership, one that will stay with us forever.  One fact that God brought to our mind is that adults are often willing to send money, but young adults go to the need itself.  I’m so glad God arranged for us to come across this example of Servant Leadership.  Would you like to follow their lead?

When I got home, I found this “EMT” outreach online, and they even have a great video showing their ministry.  Check it out — but better have a kleenex handy!

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8 thoughts on “We Know Where They Live — We Know Where They Sleep

  1. Juli Jarvis says:

    Sounds pretty spooky. I’m impressed you befriended the man and spent some time trying to understand him. Also impressed that God sent an officer to keep you safe when the time was right.

  2. Jeremy Jarvis says:

    One time, I found myself homeless for a night in Nashville. I had been invited by the West Virginia University African Ensemble, before I was a member, to stay in their hotel while they performed at a major percussion conference. But they couldn’t fit me on their bus, so I took a Greyhound bus instead. The Greyhound arrived so late that I was unable to find my friends at the hotel.

    On a busy street, a very ugly man was holding a cardboard sign that read, “homeless, need a beer.” Laughing at his honesty, I offered to treat him to a beer. He refused the beer but accepted my company. We walked up and down the street, and I learned a little about what it was like to be homeless. His spoke with difficulty, slurred his speech, but was very friendly. He had very few friends among the homeless. He was there temporarily, planning to go south for warmer weather. At the time, he wasn’t looking for drugs or food, just passing the time. This guy really appreciated my company and that I wanted to understand his situation. I was amazed that whatever he had gone through and whatever terrible decisions he made, he was not giving up.

    An officer stopped, noticed that I look cleaner than the homeless guy, and ordered me to get off the street and ride in his car. Told me that this guy is a crackhead, Nashville is dangerous, and took me back to the Greyhound station. In the morning, I finally met my friends, blended into the elite international crowd, and drank a lot of coffee to get through the festivities.

  3. Juli Jarvis says:

    Well, you certainly blessed our hearts that evening. We wished we had asked to join you! Thanks for your comment–now we know how this all started (for you at least).

  4. zach says:

    Heyyy!!! im the one in the orange shirt and sun glasses. We love going out out and helping others. we returnd from a mission trip to denver and felt we should help are neighborhood.

  5. Juli Jarvis says:

    Thanks so much for your comments. I just couldn’t help but compare what you’d written with what we observed. I’ll be pleased to share this with others.

  6. ncarnes says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and pointing me to this story. This is really cool. I am going to send the link to some youth pastors and pastors that I know. I am also going to follow the link to talk with them about “Kingdom Day” – Also, if you are in conversation with anyone, I would love it if you could pass the word on 🙂 – The PDYM Network has picked up on it and will be plugging it and we feel like this is a huge opportunity for the body to come together to live out the kingdom. Thanks for sharing this story!

  7. Juli Jarvis says:

    Thanks Dave — we were really touched. Wait until you see what I plan to post here a little later today. Another story that connects with this one in strange ways.

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