Today we celebrate what God has done and will continue to do! We have a different scorecard… We don’t count how many people sit in seats, or dollars & budgets… We measure the feet we mobilize on the ground loving people with the love of God. Below is our one month update for #lovebeyondwalls
Today makes 47 days… Below is a video update
Terence[embedplusvideo height=”500″ width=”500″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/KWN6zO” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/8cjU5rtgyYs?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=8cjU5rtgyYs&width=500&height=500&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep1384″ /]
Yesterday was was both hard and emotional… Not only did it rain and pour down, but our team encountered many homeless people who literally were standing out in the rain without shelter (getting soaked)… Their clothes were wet, and we even encountered some who did not have on shoes (just socks and flip-flops). It was hard seeing God’s people without safety, refuge, or hope.
That’s why when we go out, we try to listen to stories, get to know people, and restore dignity back to what some would classify as
“invisble people.” Although hard, it gives me hope knowing that God can use #lovebeyondwalls to pray for people, and love on them right where they are…
Also, my wife and one of our teammates went into a shelter yesterday and saw over 60 kids, and many mothers who were with very few resources… My wife said,
“When we walked in… it was like nothing I had even seen before… kids sitting there under-dressed, and mothers hoping that someone would bring their children some food and clothing…It broke my heart…We have got to keep raising awareness”
This alone is enough for me to remain FOCUSED and continue this journey toward our second campaign to raise awareness (I can’t wait to share what it is…)
Thinking about yesterday… I guess I’m filled with compassion right now… I want the world to know that there are many redeemable stories and people… I want the world to hear those who go unheard… I want God’s people to have a sense of dignity restored back to them!
Not only has reflecting on stories above ignited something in me, my homeless friend Tony ignited something in me when I was able to pay him back 100 pairs of socks for him giving me his last pair of socks the first night I went homeless. Below is a picture of my friend and I…
I ask that you pray for #lovebeyondwalls, for me as I continue to prepare myself for this next awareness campaign, and for people to join in our on next campaign to raise awareness.
Today, I got up extremely early (4AM) to think about how hard of a challange this is going to be (my next awareness campaign)…Yes, it will be just as hard as going homeless for 72 hours. As a matter of fact, this has got to be the second most daring thing I have ever attempted to do to raise awareness about a community of people that I care so much about (the homeless community).
It is so challenging, that I am literally having to lose 30lbs before I attempt to do what I feel God is placing on my heart to do. Why? Because in order for this to work, I must transform myself too (and get healthy). Over the last few years, I have become overweight due to stress, over-eating, and simply because I love to “throw down” in the kitchen…LOL. However, that must stop!!!!! (If you are an eater, you can relate)
Many people are probably wondering why I am doing things to raise awareness about homelessness… Well, like I tell everyone I meet…
Imagine being a person who could not speak up for yourself…
Imagine being a person who had a story that nobody hears or cares about…
Imagine being looked down upon by society and only loved on by a few…
Imagine endless possibilities of hopelessness…See my heart yet?
I envision #lovebeyondwalls being a non-profit agency that echoes the voices of the unheard…overlooked…and outcasted…
Therefore, whatever extremes I have to take to help people’s stories to be heard, I am going to do it. I am giving my life to this (MLK said give your life to something and die for it…) However, isn’t this what Jesus did? He roamed the earth standing up for a world far from right-standing with God, and gave his life so that people could be reconciled and restored back to God. And, if this is true…I am following Jesus.
There are three reasons why I am losing weight:
1) If I don’t lose weight…this campaign may kill me.
2) If I don’t lose weight…this campaign may not be completed.
3) If I don’t lose weight…this campaign will be extremely hard.
Are you wondering what it is yet? Well, track along with me until mid-January to find out…I am releasing the next #lovebeyondwalls awareness campaign!
Today, is Day 1 on my “50 Day Count Down” as I attempt to get myself together before trying to accomplish the unimaginable for my homeless friends.
So, a few have asked “What are you going to do with all those socks…?”
Below is my answer…
For the next two Saturdays (Jan 11th & Jan 18th 8AM-10AM), we are going to mob out into the streets of Atlanta to pass out every sock that we collected this past Saturday (to our brothers and sisters who live on the streets). We are asking people to come out with us to join a few members on our team distribute these socks….
How will this be different? Simple. Our approach is different…
Instead of the normal passing out things and leaving, we want to encourage people who serve with us to discover stories, learn needs, and build relationships. A restorative work cannot happen if trust and a relationship is not established. Additionally, we are creating consistency among this important population, not events.
I envision #lovebeyondwalls being both a mobilization agency (of doers) but also a collaborative organization that partners with other groups and individuals who desire to make a difference in the world
(not one time a year, but every single day).
If you’d like to serve with us the coming two Saturdays, hit us up [HERE] or shoot an email to the email on the flyer…
Below is a snippet from the interview at Relevant Church… Pastor Carl asked me to give closing remarks about this tweet:
Below is the snippet…
Terence[embedplusvideo height=”500″ width=”500″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/19PSRe0″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/xtz_iKbd28I?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=xtz_iKbd28I&width=500&height=500&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep8059″ /]
Growing up (from childhood until late teens), I was only in direct contact with a predominately African American context! All my schools, social outings, churches, sports, and any other activities were always around peers that looked like me… In fact, I wasn’t exposed to REAL diverse relationships until my mid twenties
(sad to say).
Was anything wrong with the way I was reared? No. It was natural, and the area where my family lived reflected my race, culture, history, and background. However, I believe growing up without REAL diversity can impair you a little (no matter what race you are). A lack of diversity does two horrible things:
1) It creates stereotypes about other races – Stereotypes and negative imagery creates a negative lens through which people are seen. Of course, cultures are different (ALL SHOULD BE RESPECTED), but negative prejudices, stereotypes, and assumptions can cause people to not see the beauty in all cultures. The sad thing about stereotypes is that most of them could be totally FALSE (you have to get to know people for yourself).
2) It creates distance between cultures & races – When stereotypes are formed, it accompanies opinions, judgement, dehumanization, and ultimately distance. It saddens me that segregation still happens more than intergration on Sunday mornings in the South. In fact, the horrible thing about distance is that it causes coldness, numbness, and a lack of sympathy and respect for other cultures.
Why does this bother me? Because I love diversity and am an advocate for reconciliation. Of course, there is a negative history that haunts us all, but I believe love is greater and will be the only way to bridge the gap in the present. I didn’t grow up with much diversity, but have a heart to bridge the gap between races & cultures.
Will this be easy? NO! But, I can model and reflect it as much as I can in my own life (I’m learning too)…
That’s why “diversity” is a core value of #lovebeyondwalls. It is important for us to accept, embrace, and respect people from all walks of life. Everybody has a story!
I was recently asked, “Why did you choose the name #lovebeyondwalls?” And my response was simple,
“At any given point, political, race, class, religious, and cultural walls can separate us all… Keeping us from solutions to problems, togetherness, and the main focus, LOVE! In fact, I believe God’s love is the only thing that can roam pass those walls and reach people where they are with the good news.”
This morning, I am joining my brother Carl Nichols (pastor of Relevant Church), to discuss my homeless journey, but more importantly to reflect a diverse picture of God’s larger family. As we interview to talk about God’s mission, we are indirectly destroying walls that exists between cultures & races (especially as it pertains to the church world).
Our coming together shows two ways to close the gap on the distance,
1) Come together. The first way to destroy walls is to take a step toward reconciliation and toward a conversation.
2) Partnering. By partnering you get a chance to work along side each other and understand each other’s background, story, history, and how each person sees the world.
I am excited because the earth is a Mosaic full of cultures, and so is the God we serve! I am grateful for the diverse relationships God has given me in my life. Here’s a thought, “Destroy Walls, Embrace Diversity…”
This morning, I got up early (5AM).
Why? Because I feel like God is leading me to do the second most daring thing I have ever attempted to do in my life to raise awareness about homelessness.
In fact, it is so daring that it is requiring me to prepare myself over the course of 7-8 weeks. Soon, I will release this challange, invite all of you to support, and ask that you each spread the word about this challenge.
Therefore, I ask that you join me now in praying for this task ahead of our organization.
So far, we have raised 4K socks over the course of six days. Generous donors from all over have banded together to bring support, resources, and encouragement for us to accomplish #project5K.
We have had people ship socks from all over (including four different states, and from one international country). Today is the last day to gather the last 1K socks, and am confident that #lovebeyondwalls will raise them.
Today, I’ll be at one of the drop off locations (Tees & Quotes) on Peters Street from 12noon-5pm.