“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
(Matthew 25:35-40 ESV)
The Honest Truth
The Streets of Skid Row are laced with drugs, alcohol, violence, and prostitution. Because of the close proximity of the surrounding missions and the abundance of donated resources such as food, clothes, and basic survival needs, broken lives have made their homes on the streets while using what little finances they have to purchase the very thing that put them there in the first place. On one of my visits to Skid Row, I attempted to give a man who was stooped under his tarp tent, a food bag and offered prayer. To my surprise he said no thanks and then offered a couple water bottles for me and the team I was with! This man had more than he needed. His addiction to cocaine was being supported, and he didn’t seem to mind that the rest of his life had fallen apart. It was then that I
realized Skid Row is a place where the drug addict, the alcoholic, and the prostitute can go and remain comfortable in their sin.
A Solution that Works
Fred Jordan Mission recognizes that although these men and women need food, water, etc. it will not keep them full and satisfied. These people need Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. So feed the people, love the people, but above all else preach Christ to the people.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16.
Last weekend a group of college kids from the suburbs, went downtown to LA’s Skid Row to serve the homeless community. We were able to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, embrace strangers, and clothe the naked, all the while watching God move in the lives of those in need. The gospel was proclaimed and men and woman declared Christ as Lord, and that is the only true solution for those who are trapped in sin and the darkness of it.For His glory, Ryan McGinnis