I knew when starting this ministry that not everything would be roses all the time. I think it’s safe to say that discouragement is inevitable when ministering to so many people living in bondage. I’ve seen the bondage of drugs, sex, alcohol, abuse, and mental illness.
It’s disheartening to spend hours ministering to someone and then one day they up and decide to go back to an abusive relationship. It’s disheartening to hear that someone you have gotten to know and love is possibly once again living on the streets and you have no idea where they are.
I’ve often questioned myself in those discouraging times if this ministry is even changing lives.
In those times, God reminds me of these verses in Matthew 25:
“35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
I know that Manchester Hope Outreach began for a reason. The reason isn’t to make me or any of my volunteers feel better about ourselves. It isn’t here because we needed a “project.”
I truly believe God started this ministry so that His church could continue to live out the Great Commission right here in Manchester…touching lives with the love of Jesus one piece of clothing and one meal at a time.
This is what keeps me going in those times of discouragement.