You Bring Hope
The Mission is there for all of them – thanks to you. John 3:16 Mission, of course, cannot force anyone to come to its shelter and participate in its programs, but it can still reach out into the community of homeless campers and let them know someone cares – and that no matter what, Jesus, still loves them and wants the best for them.
Ryan and his team never try to cajole or push people to leave their camps. Instead, they do welfare checks and tell people about what the Mission offers that can change their lives. However, listening is the main thing that Ryan and his team do during visits.
“The main thing that God has shown me in my time doing search and rescue is that my number one tool is my ears. I’ve learned to listen and to really hear these people and what their problems and issues are. If you really listen to them, instead of trying to fulfill your own agenda and deliver your own message, you build up trust with them and from there you can begin to address their true needs.”
Pointing Them to the Redeemer
Ryan says he has learned campers are not really all that different from the rest of us. Yes, we tend to focus on the fact that they are homeless, with few belongings, and struggle with a host of personal and mental health problems, but at the end of the day, we all are flawed creatures in need God’s redeeming grace, no matter how big our homes, wealth or social status.
“If there is one thing we can do, it’s point them to Jesus. And many of them already know Christ. Are they living lives that we necessarily would approve of or are healthy? No, but that is something we can help them out with as long as we are persistent.”