Ministry Testimony: Community Care
Author: Dean Vaccarino
I became homeless in March 2012. I was certain it was a temporary situation and was determined to get out of it on my own. I would never consider asking for help, I had too much pride. Ultimately I found my way to The Orchard – out of necessity. No income meant no gas, no food, and no clothes. Life’s basics were out of reach.
It was a humbling experience, but I was met with kindness and compassion. The first time I attended, I was given a gas card and was asked if I knew Jesus as my personal Savior. Sensing that I didn’t, that volunteer shared the Gospel. We prayed. I left.
The next month I came again. Even though I met with a different volunteer the experience was just as genuine. I was given gift cards and again the Gospel was shared, but with a bit more fire. That is when I felt a stirring in my heart.
I began to go to the Community Care LIFE Group on Thursdays, where the Gospel is clearly taught, and then one day as I was sitting in the park in downtown Arlington Heights, where the homeless hang out on nice days, I saw two Community Care volunteers. They approached me and asked if I had yet made the decision to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Right there in the park, they prayed with me.
I had read that we are to be silent so that we can hear God whisper. I didn’t hear the whisper, but He gave me a rock solid shove! Now, my life belongs to Him. Today, I have a studio apartment, receive disability income and teach a seeker bible study in my building on Fridays. I attend The Orchard and plan to seek membership. None of this is from me, but from my Lord.
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