Posted On: August 10, 2015
Recently a longtime friend and supporter of the Morning Center had a chance to visit our clinic locations in Memphis and observe as we served our patients there. She wrote some beautiful thoughts on her experience, and we’d like to share them with you.
“Every so often I get to go to Memphis and work with The Morning Center, a ministry that offers free care to struggling moms and their babies. It’s been amazing to see the ways they’ve helped people through the years, and to see how the ministry has grown since its beginning. Those involved truly care about helping the less fortunate, and to see them pour their hearts into helping others is nothing short of inspiring and convicting.
This last trip was different than previous ones. This time, we got to visit several clinics, and go to the projects where one of the clinics is located. We had been warned about how dangerous these apartment buildings are. There are fires and shootings and prostitutes and…the list goes on. I was even told not to walk around with my camera. It’s a run down, dust covered place where women in pajamas carry children around and tattoo-covered men walk in and out of apartments.
In the midst of this sad and defeated looking place, there’s a red door with a welcome sign on it. This door is left unlocked. It’s a place where anyone is welcome – for a meal, for encouragement, for help, or to get out of the heat. While we were inside eating lunch after touring the place, there were a few kids and women who just walked in, knowing they were welcome. I thought it was such a beautiful representation of what our homes as Christians should look like.
Going to Memphis was a reminder that we HAVE to get out of our small worlds. There are so many people who need the Lord. We are tempted to think that ministering is someone else’s job – someone who has the time. No. It’s our job. We are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus. If we don’t help these people, who will?
I don’t realize how self absorbed I am until I go there and see people who don’t even have food or a way to get to the grocery store. I worry about things like running out of hairspray or decorating a room or making sure someone still likes me, and they’re worried about being mistreated and feeding their kids. Talk about putting things into perspective. We too often turn our minor problems into ordeals, because we are focused on ourselves instead of God and others.
Their physical needs were blindingly evident, but their need for the Lord even more so. A lot of them have never even heard about Jesus. They don’t know that there is eternal hope. They don’t know that they are valuable in God’s eyes. They’re ashamed and embarrassed to be in the situation they’re in, and they don’t see a way out. It’s heart breaking.
Going to Memphis was also a reminder that you don’t have to have a passport and travel across an ocean to minister to people. You may not even need to go two hours away to another town. If there are lost people in Haiti and Memphis, there are lost people in our own cities. I’ve noticed that a lot of people in my circles put a huge emphasis on ministering to people inside the church. This is wonderful. It as absolutely important and necessary to minister to the body. But, I also notice that sometimes we are so busy focusing on our relationships with fellow believers, that we neglect ministering to those who don’t know Christ. I’m grateful for going to the projects (which someone described as resembling a third world country) and being reminded that outside of my wonderful church and community, there are people who need the gospel just as much as I do.
Learning to practically carry out the commission to minister and spread the gospel is hard, and not a commission I feel prepared or adequate for. But, we can’t just sit idle. WE are the church. WE are the hands and feet of the Lord.”
Amen! We couldn’t agree more. We are so blessed by the opportunities we have been blessed with to continue serving where it’s needed the most.