Its wintertime and that brings many visitors to Florida. Not all of them are driving quarter million-dollar Motorhomes and RV’s. Many are running from the weather due to homelessness. Jacksonville being the first large city on the I-10/95 Corridor is usually their first stop. Almost all are living out of their cars and sleeping in the parking lots of Walmart and other retailers who make up the River City Mall on the Northside of Jacksonville. Global Relief offices are located just 5 minutes from that location, and we are swamped by the great needs of the people from every walk of life.
These needs include everything from car repairs, food, money to refill prescriptions, gasoline, showers, and a place to wash their clothes. We do what we can with what we have but many times my heart breaks as I remember the days when we first arrived in this country. We have no requirements and we do not demand anything from them to get our help. I do not have time to judge people’ worthiness or to be upset because of their immigration status. People are people and needs are need. We have a saying here “we do not mind assisting the greedy to get to the needy.”
I confess I do not do well when I see a family coming for food with children all stuffed in the back of a car with all the families’ belongings. They don’t understand why dad lost his job, why they had to leave their home and why they will never see their school friends ever again. I make it a point to keep toys and chocolates for the little ones as I take care of their parents pressing needs.
These people do not need my sermon or opinions on homosexuality, cohabitating “shaking up “with each other, the dangers of drug use or any other of their visible sins. They need the manifested love of God demonstrated and lived before them by a follower of Christ. That’s it, period! Yes, I know doctrine and yes everyone I meet I lead to Christ, where else would I lead them? If they ask, I gladly share with them my walk with the Lord and why I do what I do.
Let me tell you about my number one question. It starts out like this, “I thought we were lost because we were looking for a church and this place looks like a home. Is this a Church? Are you a Pastor? My response is “Well, thank you for asking I say. If this was a church and I was a salaried clergy person, we wouldn’t have money to buy food and help you today.” The smile that follows is the reason we are still here after more than 30 years helping hurting humanity. To tell you the truth our motto of “People Helping People” just doesn’t fit in the minds of this contract-centered, tit for tat, helping others with an agenda society.
Lately food donations from groceries and other retailers across the US are down 75%. Meat donations have been hit the worst and as a result 5 of my freezers stand empty today. Would you like to help?
Call us at 904-434-0144
Our aim is Global, but it starts with one person at a time.
Jose L Bosque