THEM…Campaign THEM!

what so special about you

It’s fitting that today, as we work in Kalisz to raise money for precious children fighting for their lives, that this blog memory popped up on my Facebook page:  Campaign THEM!

Here’s a portion…I really hope that you will read more and be encouraged!  xoxo b

…I studied Special Education in college.  When I became a teacher and it was time for the awards ceremony at the end of the year, I realized that none of my students would ever receive a special award from the school based on the school’s criteria.  After all, the school demanded great grades, superb attendance, active participation in school functions/sports/clubs/so forth, wonderful behavior.  As the list went on and on and on I realized that not a single student of mine would meet any of that criteria.
Why?
Because—they were crack babies or FAS kids.  They suffered from brain damage or constant epileptic seizures.  They had such severe learning disabilities that they couldn’t even read or spell rat/cat/bat/fat in the 7th grade.  Some smelled so badly, it was required they took showers upon entering school premises in the nurse’s office for their sakes.  And, to be honest, the behavior of many of them was more gangster than Dangerous Minds.
Yet, to me, each and every one was so extremely and uniquely special.  Don’t get me wrong.  Many afternoons, when the school bell dismissed the swarm of teenagers, I sat behind my desk crying—amazed that I made it through another foul language-laced day filled with fights and security escorting students from my room.  There were even times I wondered if the student was going to or planning on harming me. 
And, still, each and every student remained special.  Somehow, in some way, I was able to look beyond what they had become to what they could potentially have in store.  In a sense, I felt as if I was the only one at times to think this way…

30 Tons of Food Given by the Homeless to the Not Homeless. Confused much?

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If you read my title you would see that it says, “30 tons of food given by the homeless to the not homeless.  Confused much?”

Let me explain. We have a beautiful center that is a transitional home for men from the streets of homelessness, men out of prison but would be on the streets of homelessness if not for our center, or men out of rehabilitation but still without a home.

It is a beautiful home. It is blue. It lies on property in a very small village and has a trickle of a creek that runs at the base of the property.

We love this center. We love this home. We love the men that come and go. And the new men that come. Then go. And then the new men that come. Then go.

Let me emphasize this again.  It is beautiful.

You see, the New Life Center is not meant to be a shelter. It is meant to be a rescue. But a rescue that teaches. It teaches the men that enter the door to become men of great pride, education, skill, talent, and worth.

And it teaches these men that although they were raised in homes of abuse. Although they spent too much of their lives in and out trouble. Although they once thought their only love was a substance that tried to take their very life…The New Life center teaches these men that they are worth far more than their pasts.

They are beautiful.  And they are worth much.

And because of these things, by the grace of God, they learn that this beauty that they behold should also be used for the sake of others.

You see, the men at the New Life Center help distribute over 30 tons of food to the surrounding village and communities every year.  That over 66,000 pounds of food a year (long ton).  These men that were formerly homeless, formerly prisoners, and formerly addicts are learning while at the center how to give and serve and help others around them in need.

They go every week and pick up food donations.  They bring these donations back to the Center.  And then they distribute the food accordingly all over the village and surrounding communities.  To the poor.  To the elderly.  To the children.

Do you want to know what is especially ironic in this situation?

When we first bought the New Life Center, the community was very upfront about how they DID NOT want us there.  They DID NOT want the center to open.  They DID NOT want any of it.

And today?

Today the very men that they battled to keep away are humbly serving them.  Their families.  Their children.  Their parents in need.

Now we have become a community of blended love.  Men from streets of homelessness and families of villagers.  Everyone working hard to survive.

Together.

There’s nothing confusing about that.

***

Check out our Facebook page and become a friend.  We would really love it if you did!

Facebook:  Bread of Life Ministries

And here’s an amazing YouTube video that will touch your hearts of these men serving tea and cakes at the local train station to break down barriers and begin conversations so neither will be afraid!