When I got the impression that I would like to work on skid row in Portland, I decided to call the Portland Police Dept. to see what they had to say about it and the Officer that I talked to was very emphatic about not doing it, he said it was a dangerous place to put ourselves into, but knowing me, that didn't even phase me. So we decided to do it. I was a little skeptical the first time we went but my fears were put to rest when we were received with smiles of appreciation. They are human beings just like we are who have been hit with bad times or choose to live like that, and many of them it was their choice to live like that. They slept under bridges and different places and used candles to keep warm or to read by. They lined their little coves with cardboard to keep warm.
My husband and I were in charge of a Community Service Center in Oregon and we had lots of clothes donated to us and decided to use the warm clothes that were donated that we couldn't place with locals, and give them to the street people. They were so appreciative and we made many friends on the street and not once were we ever threatened or anything like that.
One time we were just closing up our pickup and getting ready to leave and I saw this great big man coming towards us and when he got closer I could see that he had sutures from ear to ear across his neck. I did have a spark of fear then because of his size and those sutures on his neck. He walked up and was so friendly and nice and I asked him what happened to him and he said he had 'gotten into a fight and a guy sliced his throat'. We helped him with what we could and were on our way.
I am telling you this experience to let you know that when we are working for God, there is no need to fear.
It was a wonderful experience and because we were not afraid to work there, the Portland churches opened up a center for them when they saw the work that could be done there. It reminds me of the following text.
1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
So let's not be afraid to share our faith in any way possible that we can. There are so many ways and my way may not be your way but you have a talent that you can share, I know. There is no fear in love, because God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power to do His work and love to carry it forward and a sound mind to use to know what He would have us do. God bless you as you go about His business of loving others and lending a helping hand. Grandma Joan