I woke my wife up at (2AM) and asked her, “Babe, what if this kills me?” She responded, “God will be with you!”
Last night, I believe this challenge hit me the most as I prepare my mind to go homeless! I couldn’t sleep at all last night. In fact, I tossed and turned thinking about all the little things that I have at my disposal (right now):
Washer & Dryer,
and a bunch of other things that will be stripped away!
I kept thinking to myself, “This is either going to change my life, kill me–or both!”
“What if you don’t make it out alive?” I thought.
But, then I reflected on the importance of why I am doing this… “I am doing this because I believe God wants me to…I am doing this because homelessness is an issue that should be addressed in the city of Atlanta… I am doing this because many people are unaware of how serious this epidemic is… I am doing this because of the stats below (taken from Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless website)…”
- The fastest growing group of homeless people is children under 9 years of age.
- Atlanta is the poorest city in the U.S. for children – more children in Atlanta live in poverty than in any other city.
- 48% of all the children in Atlanta in poverty live in families with annual incomes of less than $15,000 a year.
- For children under age 6 living in female-headed families with no spouse present, the poverty rate is 58.8%.
- Children ages 6-17 living in female-headed families with no spouse present have a poverty rate of 44.9%.
- Current welfare (TANF) benefits are $282 a month for a woman with two children. Could you find an apartment to rent on $282 a month?
- Fewer than 20% of those women and children living on welfare get any kind of housing subsidy.
- 98 million children in the U.S. have no health insurance. Eight million of those children without health insurance live in working families.
- Did you know that 40% – 60% of homeless people work?
- Minimum wage in Georgia is $5.85 per hour, which yields $12,168 per year, before taxes.
However, when I made the story public (yesterday) many people hit me up saying, “I know where they are… I pass by them… It sucks they are homeless…” That’s another reason I am going homeless… Because as I reflect on the gospels and Jesus’ life, there are many passages that say, “And Jesus saw….” But, those same passages also showed that Jesus saw and responded with action & compassion.
I am starting #lovebeyondwalls because I have a passion for God’s work to be accomplished in the trenches where the “nobodies” are. Why? Because I was a nobody, a misfit, an outcast, and God’s love reached me… As I continue to prepare my mind, I am reflecting on David’s psalm today ( Psalm 23:1-6, NKJV),
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
This psalm promises that God will be with me, and walk with me even in the “valley of life…” Continue to pray peeps! I am six days away from the most challenging thing I have ever done.