2022 Newsletter,  Outreach

A Blessed Work… Isaiah 58

“There are many souls to be saved. Often you will need to begin your work by feeding the hungry, by ministering to their bodily necessities. This will give you an opportunity to minister to the necessities of the soul. Thus the way is prepared for the uplifting of Christ. With those who do this work because the Lord has given it to them to do, hunting for the lost sheep, speaking loving words in season and out of season, helping the needy, telling them of the wonderful love that Jesus has for them, the Saviour is always present, impressing the hearts of the poor, the miserable, the wretched, with their need.“

{ ST May 30, 1900, par. 5 }

The need to work for souls is constantly upon our hearts, so M.M.M. and the members of the La Zona church decided that twice a month each home would share of their own meals — five plates for those needy people in the streets of Santa Barbara. Sure enough, we found those that were in the streets in need of food, clothes, and most of all, the love of God.

After going out several times, our young men felt impressed that it would be more effective if we picked up the street people, who are mainly the alcoholics and bring them up, guess where to?! … To the outpost! They wanted to bathe and shave them, cut their hair, give them a clean change of clothes and some lunch… Then, give them the bread of life, the Word of God.

I agreed, but to be honest I was a bit reluctant, wondering if it was a wise thing to do? But God is faithful to answer our prayers and concerns. Two days before the scheduled event the Lord sent a woman and her alcoholic husband to the outpost for help. I could see their desperation and need. They had heard that we do a detoxifying program and she wanted her husband to take part in this type of program.

I could tell by his mannerism that he was edgy, shaky, and feeling withdrawal symptoms. He looked at me and said, “Please help me, I’ve heard that you make some vegetable juices. Could you make me one?” I thought, “Lord, what is a vegetable juice going to do for him in his condition? Please bless this juice!” As I gathered the vegetables I began telling him of The One that could really help him and set him free, of the God that loved him with an everlasting love.

He listened attentively as I handed him the juice, which he chuggled down as I would imagine the same as he drinks his liquor. He said it was good and that he felt better. He and his wife thanked me for opening up my heart to help them. I invited them to come back in three days to take part in a worship service that was being done with many of the men from the streets of Santa Barbara.

When he arrived it was as though God took possession of his thoughts and he saw himself in them, for these were the same men that he would spend days drinking with on the streets. I believe he saw Jesus ministering to them through our young men. His heart was touched and now Carlos is the one that brings up these men in his large white pickup.

It is a joy for our young men to be able to minister to these men and be coworkers with the One that yearns to restore their manhood. It was not an easy job, but God took away our doubts and fears and replaced these negative thoughts with His love and compassion for these men.

“However low, however fallen, however dishonored and debased others may be, we are not to despise them and pass them by with indifference; but we should consider the fact that Christ has died for them… Christ longs to reshape the marred human character, to restore the moral image of God in men.”

Review & Herald, Oct 15, 1895

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