This story is one of many we see when we minister. Late one night we are downtown and we meet a young woman about 23 years old. We ask if she wants something to eat, she says yes and we give her a hot meal. We have all made some bad decisions, but hers have led her to an unhealthy lifestyle of financial security through the company of men. Ultimately, she lost sight of herself and who she was. Her dignity and innocence has been lost with her dreams of being a mother and wife. In her eyes, she was trapped and hopeless.
Being a father of a beautiful 9 year old girl, I thought, “How does this happen?” She is someone’s beautiful baby girl. I spoke to her about who she is in the eyes of God. The tears began to flow. Despite the emotions, she chose to show strength because the streets are not kind to tears. Audrey stopped crying and thanked us for the food. We offered her a way off the street through another organization we work with.
I gave her one of my cards. She told us we were the first men who did not treat her like property. She said she was going to tell a friend that “that is true love”, referring to the respect we gave her.
This is the type of ministry we are. You may not be able to go with us, but you can still have an impact on the lives of these people. We treated Audrey with dignity and an impact was made on somebody’s little girl. How would you feel about the person who treated your daughter with respect and unconditional love, thus restoring hope to her life?
The fall and winter have been a very busy time for The Father's Heart. With the help of the local churches and organizations at Thanksgiving, we served over 1,350 meals and over 11,000 meals last year total! We have seen all types of people and situations on our streets this year.
The food outreach is our primary program. Through adoption of needy families, we seek to meet some practical needs that may reduce some burden while providing some emotional and spiritual support. Forty-six percent of all children in Clay County schools are on free or reduced lunch. That means that they are guaranteed 1 meal a day when school is in session.
This program came into being 8 years ago at Thanksgiving. My wife and I wanted to help some families at Thanksgiving who might be in need of a good meal. So we presented the idea to our pastor and he assisted us that year with 27 baskets. The next 7 years, we were stretched and added several more churches. In 2014, we gave out over 1,200 meals and have provided Christmas to needy families. From this has come the monthly adoption program. In this program, we deliver a basket which provides about 20-25 meals each month. This basket is delivered personally to each family.
Our food outreach seeks to meet practical and tangible needs. You can become involved in this outreach and have an ongoing impact with local families through a financial tax deductible gift.