For some reason, I got up extra early this morning and sat in my home office at (4AM)…

I can’t sleep… I keep thinking about my comfort… my safety… my home… all the things we have… and my family. Starting tomorrow evening, I won’t have any of it again until Christmas morning. While most people will be spending quality time with their families, eating up a storm, and doing last minute shopping–I’ll be homeless on purpose!

Yesterday, I received a phone call from a friend (Enrique Morgan). He said, “I’ve been following your journey via social media and wanted to know, “What are the top things you are looking to do with this experience?” “What will be next?” Immediately, I lit up with joy and passion. I said, “I’m glad you asked bro…there are four specific things I’m looking to do with my experiences.”

Below are my next steps:

1) Gain the experience to articulate. I want to gain an understanding of what our homeless brothers and sisters have to go through, and see life from their perspective and through their lens. It’s one thing to pass out food, clothes, or say a couple of prayers, but it is a totally different experience when a person wears the shoes of another. That’s what Christ did, and that’s what I want to do. Additionally, I want to experience this in my adulthood so I can clearly articulate my thoughts, feelings, and share with the world what I learn and see.

2) Advocacy & Work. I want to be able to write, advocate, speak out, and raise awareness about the homeless stories in the city of Atlanta and across this country. I want to become a voice not only about the epidemic, but to educate others or rebut any false storertypes that may exist.

3) Fundraise & Give. I want to raise support, build #lovebeyondwalls, and give toward other organizations, faith-based communities, and people working in the trenches with this population. Doing work in the trenches is not easy. It requires outside support, prayer, and tons of trust and faith in God. By raising support, I’d be able to do more work among “vulnerable people,” and also resource others at the same time. If you want to give, click the image and help us launch #lovebeyondwalls

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4) Spread. Lastly, I want to spread a message of hope, and mobilize people to get involved to do missional work in vulnerable places. Also, I’d like to spread a message of contentment. Society tells us that you must be the best, have the most toys, or climb to the top to be great. That’s all wrong. You can be a great person, and be worthy with less. You don’t have to have it all to be great. I want to share a message that says, “No matter where you are, enjoy all that you have. There is always someone with less…” I will not tell people to be complacent, but content. Complacency has to do with accepting that status quo, but contentment has to do with embracing where you are with gladness and joy.

Next year (2014), I am devoting a whole year to the work of justice and education. These are two things I firmly believe in, and where I believe God wants me to start with #lovebeyondwalls.

I ask that you pray for me as I get ready to do the most daring thing I have ever attempted… Pray that I return home safe to my family, that I build relationships while out there, and that God uses this story to restore dignity back to people who feel like they are on the bottom. I ask that you spread the story and the experiences I’ll capture while out there.

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Lastly, I am spending the last day with my family and meditating on two thoughts. One written by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

The other from my five year old daughter who came to me last night and said,

“Dad, I want you to be safe, and make sure you make it back before you miss Santa!” (LOL).

Terence

 

Terence Lester

Author Terence Lester

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