Looking the other way is a method commonly used to make something go away. Of course, we know it doesn’t really go away … it just exists on the margins. Marginalizing something is in some ways worse than ignoring it altogether. When we marginalize something or someone, we oftentimes think or believe that someone else is looking into it. When things really begin to change is whenever one person speaks up and says, “We won’t stand for this any longer.”
That statement recognizes at least two things. First, the issue, problem, person or crisis must be addressed. Secondly, it can be addressed. The person is saying, in a sense, we have the ability to do something, we just haven’t done it. We have done nothing long enough. It is time to do something. Out of this realization, programs and services are born.
In 1958, Bea and Dick Hogan of Amarillo, Texas said, “We won’t stand for homelessness anymore.” They came to Wichita Falls and established Faith City Mission. Bea’s heart for every person to know Jesus and His love for them drove her to face homelessness head-on. She believed that in every person is the ability to be self-sufficient and successful when they acknowledge God and His plan for their life. Fifty-seven years later, while the face and scope of homelessness may have changed, our mission is still the same; “To provide Christ-centered programs and services that lead the homeless toward self-sufficiency.”
Martin (not his real name) came by my office the other day. We had a hard time getting together because he is working part time, going to college and going through our New Beginnings Recovery Program. He came to Faith Mission homeless and with a terrible addiction.
On this day, he just wanted to say “Thank You” and tell me that this place had given him his life back. He said he was once one of those people who scoffed at Christians and those who said that God had changed their lives. Now, he has a relationship with Jesus Christ and his whole life is different. He has peace and joy for the first time. His relationship with his Mom is restored and he is looking forward to achieving goals he had never dreamed possible.
I want to invite you to come and see for yourself. God is changing lives at both shelters … Faith Mission and Faith Refuge. It usually starts with a bed and a meal and then grows from there. It always starts with someone showing compassion and treating them with the dignity they deserve. Maybe that sounds like something you want to be a part of. I invite you to think about it.
As the leader of this organization, I am forever thankful that Bea and Dick Hogan “did something”. I’m thankful that they weren’t willing to stand for homelessness anymore. I’m thankful that countless others feel the same way. On Martin’s and hundreds of others’ behalf, I’m thankful for a place where hope exists.