Thanking the Lord for our volunteers, our donors, our prayer partners and for God’s protection while we are on the streets ministering to our friends. What an amazing time to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
A few friends we have helped this year:
* In January, we met a woman that was pregnant, living with her boyfriend in a tent by the Zoo. When the wind chill was -30 below zero, we tried to get them to go to the shelters, but she wouldn’t go without him. After talking with her alone she said she told him she wanted to go, but he said he wasn’t going… He told us that he encouraged her to go, but what she was telling me… I believe he had some control over her and she wouldn’t go without him. We gave her several opportunities to go alone, but she stayed. We haven’t seen them in a long while. Pray that S.B. and M. are safe and healthy and out of danger. We were able to give them, tent, sleeping bags, hand warmers, socks, etc. Pray the baby is healthy and safe.
* J.L. is staying at Wheeler and for his birthday he asked his friends on facebook to donate to MMUTB Ministry (MMUTB). Just warms our heart. We have helped him since 2012. He brings others that are struggling to us for help.
* J.G. came to our church service and was crying and very upset. She was living in a motel with her son and he got agitated and was choking her. We called the police and they came and took a statement at our gathering. She was pressing charges. We went to the motel room and got her medication and some clothes. Two of the volunteers carry guns as we didn’t know what the situation was going to be. I knocked and her son let me in, I told him who I was and I needed his mom’s things. He was accommodating and showed me where her things were. Praise the Lord for His protection. We got her to her daughter’s home and she stayed there for a while. She now has her own place, she is safe and happy. YES!!
* We were able to help Ann and her husband; they were living in their car in Plainfield with clothes and blankets. We found out there were several other people helping them. We haven’t seen them for 6 months, we pray they are doing well.
* D.D. had been hit by a bus then ran over by a car. He was in really bad shape and in ICU for 3 months. We’d visited him several times. His wife called and left a message that he had passed. I tried to call her back, but no luck. I knew where they stayed on the street; it took me 2 days to find her. She was in a bad way. We took her to A. G. where she had her own motel room, food, clothing, TV everything. She was there 3 months. We thought she was doing well… but they had given her so many chances. It’s a sober living facility and she was drinking on property. A. G. gives people many chances. But after 3 major infractions they called me and asked me to come and get her. The owner of the facility asked me a question that STOPPED ME IN MY TRACKS!!! He asked “Did she ASK you for help?” It was a light bulb moment. I said no she didn’t. I can tell you that we are doing ministry differently now because of that question. We can’t be the “rescuer” if they don’t want to be rescued.
From our Volunteers and Friends that we’ve helped in their own words:
* From our friend S. A.: MMUTB gave me something to look forward to every week. An event outside where I was living. With regular people who talked to me like I was a regular person. Wonderful Volunteers who had shared their time and talents with those who were down and out at that time in their lives. They gave me hope to look forward to. That there could be hope in my present situation and reminding me THAT GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFLUL!! It was disheartening when the city tried to treat me like a problem… to go away. But for the GRACE of GOD, there go I. The city even took away our bridge! Hunger sure drives a man to do extreme things like sell a $4,000 laptop for $150 to buy a few meals. I may never recover that loss but that’s ok, GOD has a new plan for me!!
* From our friend J.C. MMUTB has been like a second family to me since I’ve been here in Indianapolis. As a matter of fact I’ve adopted them as my family since I have no family here in the state. You see my story is not unique as it may sound, it’s one that we all are familiar with and have heard before. Simply put, I was “ONCE LOST BUT NOW I’M FOUND”. I’m originally from Alabama growing up in a home of a Baptist minister. I grew up in the church and as I got older I strayed away and was consumed by the world. I left Alabama right after Katrina, and I ended up in Indy and living a life of drugs, alcohol and doing other immoral acts I became homeless on the streets of Indy for about 5 years and it was only by my HEAVENLY FATHERS GRACE and MERCY that I was able to walk away from that life and resume a normal life.
It took a DIVINE INTERVENTION which is what I’ve come to call it as well as a SPIRITUAL AWAKING!! Because it happened overnight, a complete transformation into the person I am today. MMUTB was there for me through the entire time I was on the streets. They provided me with supplies that I needed to survive the weather with shelter and gave me food. You may see me down there on some Sundays volunteering with my family because I feel it’s the least I can do to give back. Also to be a sign of hope to some of my other homeless friends who are still on the streets. I don’t want to ever forget where I came from, EVER!!! Those guys and MMUTB are in my PRAYERS day and night because they are family; I know their pain as I’ve walked in their shoes. I believe whole heartedly in what MMUTB is doing which is GOD’S WILL!
* From our Volunteer Barbara: I was asked to write about why I volunteer with MMUTB. I initially started with my two young boys in 2009 as a way to show them a life outside their suburban home and a way for us to give something back. Truthfully, my heart used to swell to see my boys actively participate and want to continue to come. I hoped that their involvement would have an impact on them that they would carry on wherever their life led them. Time will tell.
As I said, I had started coming down because of my kids, but as time progressed I had no idea of the impact this group would have on me. I have connected with many volunteers and particularly the people we serve who have become dear friends and my extended family. I have laughed and cried with them, listened to people share their testimony or just bits of news about their week, good and bad. I don’t often have a solution for the bad bits, but I feel I listen with a sympathetic ear and help where I can.
I love this group of people who have taught me about their faith, their perseverance and what truly matters. I know now that coming on Sundays has filled a void in my life that I didn’t really know was there. I have learned to be more appreciative and grateful for the important things and all I had to do was hand out a coffee or hot chocolate with a smile. You can see why it’s a really meaningful part of my week.
* From our Volunteer Lori: My name is Lori, and I’ve been serving with MMUTB for 4 years now. But my story actually began 10 years ago when I took a trip to Los Angeles dream center with my youth group. Many ministries were down there one of which was serving the homeless on skid Row. Honestly, that one scared me the most. I didn’t want to see people living on the streets I didn’t know how to handle that. But I’ve learned that God indeed does know us better than we know ourselves.
So when I retired from teaching and moved to Indianapolis, because of my experience in Los Angeles, I went looking for a homeless ministry and I found Meet Me Under the Bridge. For years I’d gotten frustrated in the church, with people who I felt like went to eat and eat and eat and receive what made them feel good. I said many times Christians are going to church to get fat. If we only eat and never get out and do any exercise we’re just fat. So the first time I went to serve and I heard Kathy Albright say this ministry started because it’s time for the church to get out of the seats and into the streets! I told her this is what I’ve been looking for.
I didn’t realize the journey I was about to embark upon. I thought I was coming to help homeless people, I didn’t realize how much homeless people would help me. In the last four years, I believe I’ve learned what Jesus really expects. I’ve told many people that I Believe I now understand how to share the gospel in a very easy way. 1. Judge not. 2. You reap what you sow. 3. Love never fails. First Corinthians 13:8 says, “love never fails.” And first Corinthians 13:13 says, “and now these three remain, faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.” I believe love is eternal. The love we sow into people is a seed that eventually leads to Jesus.
This ministry is not easy, far from it! I’ve come to love the people that I meet week after week. I’ve made many friends who are homeless. The thing about planting seeds is this, some grow fruit very quickly. And some seeds may take a lifetime. Sometimes the harvest season Is excellent, sometimes it’s very sparse, in a really bad year a farmer may not grow anything. But a farmer continues to plant, knowing that a harvest will eventually come.
So, I come to MMUTB to plant the seeds of love, because I believe they last forever, through the seeds planted with the love of Jesus, people meet Jesus and we will get to be friends forever. MMUTB has already seen some seeds come to maturity. Some of those “seeds” come down periodically and help us serve the people they used to live with on the street. And too many of those “seeds” have gone on to be with Jesus. Life on the streets is hard, unforgiving, dangerous, and sometimes deadly. So you see, no matter how hard it is to serve, I truly believe that destinies are changed. And after all, isn’t that what Jesus did for us and isn’t that what he calls us to do for others? I believe, it’s the greatest thing anyone can do in this lifetime.
MMUTB does more than just serve a meal on Sundays… we go to hospitals, take them to the pharmacy, doctors, give food, clothe, minister, fellowship, go to court on their behalf, encourage and love people right where they are. We have helped so many more than just the ones in this newsletter.
We are VERY THANKFUL TO OUR WONDERFUL DONORS, PRAYER PARTNERS AND VOLUNTEERS! We can’t do what we do without all of your support! God bless you.
There are several ways if you wish to make a financial donation to further our work on the streets:
WWW.MEETMEUNDERTHEBRIDGE.ORG On the Donate page
Or Mail it to:
• Meet Me Under The Bridge (MMUTB)
• P.O. Box 42159
• Indianapolis, IN 46242
Meet Me Under The Bridge, Inc. is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization.
May our Lord God bless you richly!