Breakthrough Ministries seeks to serve the Twin Cities homeless. That number is staggering. Research indicates that there are well over 13,000 homeless people in Minnesota. Of that, over 2,000 are sleeping in places that are considered uninhabitable. Places like under bridges, abandoned buildings, cars, etc.
Of the total 9,654 people counted in the study, children and youth (including young adults) make up nearly half.
The stereotype for homeless people tends to be that they are drunks. While this is true for about 1/3rd of the population of homeless the fact is that 1/3rd also deals with a drug addiction and 1/3rd deals with mental health issues. Over two thirds are dealing with multiple issues in that regard with mental illness leading the way. Alcohol and drugs are not always the problem. Alcohol and drugs are the answer to a problem. This leads to asking the question – what is the problem?
That is a great question that should lead to dialog with homeless people. The problems are not always the same. Mental illness, loneliness, hopelessness, lack of self worth, rape, incest, neglect, abuse, hurt, just to name a few.
What we have found is that homelessness is so often the result of these issues.
This is the mission field. It is right here in the Twin Cities as well as all over the world.
Clearly the tough economic climate of the past few years has had a big impact. The significant increase in the number of homeless came after a period of leveling off. Forty percent of homeless adults reported a job loss or reduced hours as a reason they lost their housing. Also, the use of food stamps is the highest since the study began. Another notable finding is the increase in long-term homelessness.
God gives us all revelation through various methods and experiences. We have been flooded with revelation during times of prayer, preparation, bible study, fellowship, worship, as well as God inspired outside resource material and books. We have received revelation through people that God has inspired, those who have written books such as Danny Silk, Bill Johnson, John Eckhardt, Rick Joyner, C. Peter Wagner and others who have given us a frame work and language to understand. The revelation flows from all directions and floods our mind's like a mighty river. We want to give thanks to God for using revelation to guide us and those who serve His Kingdom.
With homelessness on the rise, we need a force of volunteers that are willing to do what He alone as called us to do in Matthew 28, the Great Commission.
We have also had a long look at Isaiah 1. At first, we thought that the LORD was showing us what the church needed. We were wrong, it was us, it was what we needed in order to draw nearer to the Father, it was a call to repentance. We were so self involved that the anointing that the Father had for us could no longer be poured out until we repented. Notice in verses 17 & 23 – what was missing! The Israelite people were being driven into captivity because they had forgotten the poor! More importantly this was the condition of the heart of a nation!
The Apostle Paul comes from the high place of Jewish society and Peter from the lower class of society. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul is EAGER to help the poor, why? I believe this to be because the Holy Spirit has changed Paul’s heart towards God’s creation, those, us, made in His image. Peter, James and John knew this by watching Jesus during his ministry. They were witnesses to Jesus’ hand reaching out to the poor, it’s where He did ministry. Ask the Holy Spirit to place an eagerness within your heart to move into your calling.
In the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 15, verse 4, the LORD says, ”However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you,” the LORD sets up provisions and commands to see that the poor are taken care of in verses 1-3. We also know that in the Gospels that they will also always be among us. We, here in America, have been EXTREMELY blessed. There need be no poor among you, we must ASK the Spirit of God where we can start pouring out into those around us.
Begin with prayer and ASK Jesus to show you how you can begin to take steps to enter into the one thing we too should be eager to do, after all we are His first, what grace has been given to you?