I have been reading a lot of books lately on a variety of topics but the main theme has been social justice. An important and very thought provoking topic to say the least.
One book in particular challenged me: Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski. It is the journals of Mike and his friend Sam who became homeless so they could better serve the downtrodden in his community. Read more about their journey at http://www.undertheoverpass.com/uop/home.php
I have done homeless ministries in the past, and I wonder how effective it is when we come from the surburbs in our fancy clothes passing out baloney sandwiches (that we would never eat), all the while thinking in the back of our minds “these people just need to stop drinking and get a job” – a sentiment I have heard even here, but instead it is regards to the illegal refugees from Zimbabwe.
I believe we have a responsibility to do something for those who are trapped in their circumstances. And not just by throwing money at the problem, or telling them how they need to change. Instead, we are called by Christ to walk beside them, to serve with our everything.
I am so encouraged by my roommate’s work in Old Naledi – a ghetto here in Gaborone. She is involved with feeding programmes for the little ones and also does ministry for young adults. It is a ministry that is encouraging young people, specifically the women, to provide hope from their circumstances and to walk with them as they struggle with unemployment, HIV/AIDS, addiction and poverty.
This song by Brooke Fraser is blunt and to the point – “faith without deeds is dead”.
We are called to serve humanity and to fight for those who have no voice – for those who are encumbered by their circumstances.