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"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20
Until recently, I didn't realize I had planted a seed for the gospel. Four or five years ago, when I decided I wanted to write a book about the homeless in Bucks County, PA, with whom I hung out, my goal was to tell people who the homeless really are and to remove stereotypes, prejudices. Sometime after my book "There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless" was published in November, 2018, I ordered several copies and distributed it myself as well as made it available online.
Summer 2018, at the county pool I spent time with a woman I knew from the shared meals for the homeless and those in need. She told me that she had taught the chair yoga instructor who conducted the classes I attended at the Levittown public library. I also learned that, like this instructor, my friend bought into the pagan religious aspects of yoga. She had also told me that she doesn't like to be preached to at the shared meals - that she was just there for a meal and she felt she was roped in to a Biblical message. During a conversation with the woman and the pool, she passionately questioned why "so many people are xxxxxx up today." I could have followed up on a Biblical answer to the problem, but didn't.
Recently, however, my friend approached me in the Levittown library after having just read my book. She said she really liked what I had written about faith and my relationship with my companion, Sandi. I wrote about how God held Sandi and I together and how we had grown in the faith together. I was pleasantly taken aback from my friend's reaction. Sandi, to whom I dedicated my book, was homeless when I met her and was soon diagnosed with stage IV cancer. She is a particular in the book and walked alongside me in my homeless journey (I became homeless shortly after I met her). God took her home December 4, 2017.
After my book was out, news about the book spread like wildfire in the homeless community in Bucks County. The book was written by one of their own. A formerly homeless friend, and who was mentioned in the book, had given my female friend the copy of my book. After reading it, she left it at the local Y for others to read. My unofficial book distibutor/promoter gave the host of the annual Christmas homeless dinner a copy of my book. The host had heard that somebody local had written a book about the homeless in Bucks County. My promoter prompted me to give the host a complimentary copy of the book and write "Merry Christmas" to him. He introduced me to the host.
"There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless" is now in the Bucks County library system. As of this writing, the county library district library catalog shows that one copy is on the display and another is "being transferred between libraries."
Not only should the book, as we said back in the 60s, "tell it like it is" about the homeless, but my prayer is that it inspires homeless people to seek God and realize they have value. A major theme in the book is how the faith community helps the homeless.
I was homeless for a season and now, for the first time, I am an author. I am finishing up a second book. Not everyone who got stuck in a rut for a season will be an author, although that's a noble goal (as pastor and author Max Lucado says), but I want to send the message that people are not stuck in a caste system but can grow personally and spiritually.
God works in mysterious ways!
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22 May 2019
Jeff, you are a fine example of an Ambassador for Christ. Your story about transiting from being homeless to an author brings the Lord glory. God bless the works of your hands immensely.
16 May 2019
Jeff, it is good to see an article again written by you. God bless you!
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