Over the next few months we are going to be sharing with you the stories inside the story of Shepherd’s HOPE, the real reason the Lord sent us to this Englewood community in Chicago. We all know the story of the million pounds of food distributed annually touching 7000 lives on a monthly basis through our food pantry and of our new addition “The Family Feeding Center” that is feeding 400 people a week a nutritious hot meal. The LORD brought us these venues to this Englewood community with the plan that the people who we serve there would take ownership of these venues. Neighbors serving neighbors; that’s how it was designed. We were sent there as mentors, to show them how to be the hands and feet of JESUS so they would know what it looks and feels like to serve others. And what a job these volunteers have done! By putting their self agendas aside so they can serve neighbors, they have made this little “Food Pantry” and “The Family Feeding Center” the most talked about feeding facilities in Englewood (if not Chicago). The people rave about the food but most of all they rave about how they are treated. Serving others is the reason we were created and it brings out the best of who we are and who we were created to be in Christ. Jesus said when you serve the least of these, you are serving Me.
We have been serving the Lord in this community for over five years; we have hundreds of volunteers that are part of the Lord’s story in this Englewood community. In the next 12-24 months we will share some of the stories of the people who gave up their selfish life styles of gang banging, alcohol and drug abuse or serving themselves in some other manner outside of God’s will, to become people who found that serving others offered a lot more than living the selfish self-absorbed, self-indulged, self-pitying life styles that were a way of life for them.
A.W. Tozer in his book “The Knowledge of the Holy” reminds us that God is the creator. The creator is in charge but man wants to be independent from God and do what he wants to do. This independence God calls sin.
These volunteers were living in sin and decided to become selfless and help serve their neighbors… and it changed their lives. We can never really get to know who JESUS is until we are willing to step away from our self driven lives and be willing to serve and really get to know people less fortunate than ourselves. This month I am sharing the story of Darryl Coleman, one of our first volunteers and of how volunteering at Shepherd’s HOPE has changed his life.