The following blog is written by Redeemer Church member Emily Borden (née Creasy).
“You just open the door and welcome us in. I feel like I have known you for years and you love me just where I am”Comments like this from a guest who has been staying with us are the reason I knew Redeemer had to get involved with this program…
Greetings, friends! I am beyond excited to share with you about a program our congregation has agreed to participate in this year.
Room in The Inn began in December of 1986 in Nashville, Tn. A group of 4 congregations committed to shelter homeless people through March of 1987.
Now, over 200 congregations in middle TN and now NW Alabama are participating. Room In The Inn is not designed to be another homeless shelter. Instead, it strives to create an environment of acceptance and to put faith into action.Room In The Inn’s website describes the program as a way for more people in every walk of life to understand the problems of the homeless by becoming directly involved with people who are homeless. The evenings provide an opportunity to receive a blessing from God in the midst of suffering, hardship and grief.
Matt and I began working with the program last year when it was called The Warming Center. The idea behind several congregations partnering to provide this ministry is that the smaller number of people in a shelter directly relates to how safe the shelter is as well as to how well the shelter can meet the individual needs of the people it serves. We have definitely found this to be true.
In the two years we have worked with the homeless community following this model we have never once felt in danger. I will warn you though, we have felt vulnerable. On more than one occasion my heart has been squeezed, bruised, and even broken over the struggles of these people I have come to call my friends. I truly believe in order to accurately love these people as Jesus would we must choose to be vulnerable.
Until we put aside our fear of the unknown, our fear of people who seem to be different from us, and our fear of the “what if” we will never be able to truly live life with these people as Jesus calls us to and our words will simply be that, words.
I would love to invite you to work one 3 hour shift with the men, women, and children we are privileged to love here at Redeemer every Thursday. Join us as we build relationships with our guests and show them who lives in us by our actions so that one day we can share Him with them through our words.