Meeting Needs and Sharing Christ
Is not just a catchy slogan; it’s a way of life here at the Samaritan Inn. To be more accurate, it’s a way of “New Life.” James explains in James 2:14-17:
“What good is it my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without cloths and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
You see, faith is often more than sharing Christ, but is never less than sharing Christ. The director of the Samaritan Inn, Kathy, and myself often talk about how we are not a shelter. Yes, shelter is one of the “needs” we meet, but in no way is it greater than the faith that we share.
One of the things that sets us apart from just being a shelter is the goals we have set for our residents. We firmly expect God to be faithful with each of them, and so anything less than a thriving relationship with the Lord that leads to not only being able to survive but to thrive, well, we consider that unacceptable.
Yes, we pray for the families here, and that’s when the work starts. Uncovering the real need often starts during the intake process. Looking for those who are poor in spirit as mentioned in Matthew 5:3, and who not only mourn their situation but also the fact that they don’t know how to live this life. Only at this point are they meek enough to be teachable in all areas of their life. That is why when we are doing a phone screening or intake interview we are not just looking for someone to fill a room, but rather looking for someone who is hungry and thirsty for a new life. In other words, we are searching for someone whose faith will also one day bare the fruit of actions.