The LORD says: "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and sojourner: I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 19:9-10)
On Fridays, our ministry delivers more than 200 lunch boxes to the brothers at Atlanta Mission and Jefferson Recovery Center, And every Saturday, we serve meals and daily necessities in conjunction with our Saturday Worship Service starting at the parking lot of Ponce Church in downtown Atlanta. This service time begins with worship and prayer at 8:00 AM, followed by sharing food and life necessities. After we close our time in prayer with those who gather with us, we then take to the streets of Atlanta to share the Gospel and deliver food and necessities to the brothers and sisters we encounter.
Before COVID-19, our homeless brothers and sisters were usually centrally gathered in public areas and it was common to see hundreds gathering in one spot. But today, our brothers and sisters are spread out throughout the city. Some are living in a tent, some under the eaves of a building, and some are even found on the street lying down. Through these ministries, our team serves 30 to 40 brothers and sisters on the streets.
Thanks be to God for the Food Ministry at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer ; Rev. H. W. Cheong; Rev. I. J. Park and Rev. T. Lee from Saebit Church, Newnan, Georgia; and brothers and sisters serving with several churches across metro Atlanta who donate each week for their partnership in these important weekly ministries.
Praise God for enabling us to witness Jesus at work through His people!
Every day, our Hispanic brothers can be seen gathering along Buford Highway, in Duluth and Norcross, and in communities across metro Atlanta. They gather early in the morning, usually before 8:00 AM, awaiting for would-be employers to come by and hire them for temporary jobs. These brothers often find themselves waiting for much of the day. Sometimes work finds them, sometimes it doesn't. They are barely earning a living but earn what they can to support their families.
Each week, our ministry team is delivering food and daily necessities to more 50 Hispanic brothers. While many do not speak or understand English, they are clearly grateful to receive the love of Jesus through a hot cup of coffee, healthy meal, and loving eyes.
NOTE: Our Sharing and Caring Festivals have been put on pause due to COVID-19. Lord willing, our ministry team looks forward to resuming these fun opportunities to share the love of Jesus with our brothers and sisters in the days ahead.
In September, November or December, and at Easter time, we hold special sharing and caring events to serve the Gospel of Jesus Christ followed by food and daily life necessities in downtown Atlanta. More than 400 brothers and sisters drop by at some time during these event times to hear God's Word and receive His gifts.
Several churches in the Atlanta area contribute food and other items to share. Volunteers from these churches, usually exceeding 100 in number, also join us regularly to share the love of Jesus with brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness.
These events are a great opportunity to connect with our brothers and sisters and engage in some meaningful fellowship in Christ. Our time of service begins with a time of praise with opening prayer, the singing of Christian hymns, a special message delivered by Pastor Song or another servant of the Lord, and a closing prayer. We also pray with our brothers and sisters and provide counsel.
In cold weather, a heavy jacket can be a life-saving gift for those experiencing homelessness and living on the streets. Stepping Stone coordinates an annual winter coat drive, beginning in September, in partnership with sister churches. These jackets are then shared with our brothers and sisters during the cold weather months, beginning as early as September, during our regular serving times as well as through special events at Thanksgiving and Christmas times. The cost of one jacket is $25.00.
As our brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness do not have a regular place to store their personal belongings, a backpack is a vital asset for daily living. Stepping Stone shares backpacks throughout the year. We always gratefully welcome donations to help purchase backpacks.
For our brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness and life on the streets, sturdy socks without holes make a huge difference. Since 2019, Stepping Stone received a generous annual donation of 50,000 pairs of high quality socks from Trinity Lutheran Church in Savannah, Georgia made possible by the Bombas company. These socks were part of a spectacular donation made by the Bombas company to Trinity. The socks are especially made for those living on the streets or in less than sanitary conditions. They are embedded with some kind of ingredient that fights bacteria. And, they are durable. Bombas donates one pair of socks for brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness for every pair sold. Click here to read more about this giving company. Click here to read more about how these socks are being put to good use for the loving care of our brothers and sisters on the streets of Atlanta.