Story #06 - The Homeless Mission

   Each Wednesday morning, at 7:00 AM, it is my privilege to preach downtown at a place called, “The Elm Street Mission.”  With one out of every 17 people in Santa Cruz being homeless, this is a vital ministry in which our church shares time and money.  The director, Ben Palm, is an ordained Nazarene elder from New Mexico, and grew up attending the Mission.  One morning, early on, I shared the story of the dimes for Africa.  A couple of weeks later, one of the homeless ladies, in her often-worn-seldom-washed clothes, approached me before the service began.  She told me, “Pastor John, I took the bus this morning to get here early.  I had been thinking about the starving people in Africa so I wanted to give you some dimes.  The only problem was, I only had two on me.  I decided it wasn’t enough to make any difference plus, I was embarrassed to give you just two.  But God started to remind me about the talents in the Bible, so I decided to give you the two dimes anyway.  When the bus stopped and I reached down to get my bag, I saw these two brand new dimes at my feet.  I don’t know how they got there, but now I have FOUR dimes to give you.”  She was beaming from ear to ear when she handed these dimes to me.  I said, “But Althea, do you have any money left?”  She said, “No, but God will provide.”  That same morning, by the way, a couple of hours later, the Mission asked if Althea would like to move into a residence room they have upstairs, with her two daughters, rent free.  What do you think?