Most ministries try hard to tout their successes. It is the successes that give us hope. But most often, we are faced with the reality that we can't save people. We can't even help many of the people we truly want to help. So today I decided to recap some of those stories. Names have been changed. It is healthy for people to see the realities of ministering to very hurting people.
We met John in the streets of Wellston. He said he wanted of drugs and the streets after over 4 years. We preached the Gospel and John accepted Jesus. We couldn't arrange rehab for a few days so John went back into the streets. We got his rehab arranged but I have not seen him since then. We pray we can find John again and get him the help he needs.
We were in St. Charles near a known homeless encampment. We met with a young man who was tired of being in the streets. He had a job but just couldn't make enough money to save up first, last and deposit for an apartment. We offered to move him into one of our apartments without requiring deposits. He had a court date the next week and said he would get that out of the way and then move in. We have not been able to find him since.
We met this young couple on the streets of Wellston. They are not married but have a very young baby. He just got out of rehab and is on probation in Illinois. She is living in a shelter with her baby. She has a job and the shelter provides childcare. They expressed a desire to get an apartment and for him to get a job. We were ready to help them do just that. Then his probation officer denied him the opportunity by not allowing him to move out of Illinois. This was in spite of the fact that we are only a few miles from his current residence.
This does not recount the dozens we meet each week that are bound by drugs and suffering on the streets. We offer them help to get off the streets and free from drugs but get solidly rejected. It is very difficult to continue to face people that are destroying themselves but reject help. This is a regular reality of street ministry. I wish we could get more of the church involved in the streets. The truth is that very few churches and church members are in the streets where we minister. I understand in some ways. This work is very hard on people both physically and emotionally. We must remember that God loves these people and Jesus died for them. They need to hear that Good News.