By Erma Judd
Pastor’s Wife / TCM Special Assistant / Director of Food Services / “Campus Mom”
I love to read! My New Year’s resolutions include reading the Bible through this year (along with our church), and reading more books!
I have just finished a very good, thought-provoking book entitled Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. Denver was basically a modern day slave on a cotton Plantation in Louisiana. Ron is an international art dealer whose wife, Debbie, had compassion for the homeless.
Denver’s mother was not fit to care for him, so he lived with his grandmother. As a young boy, he saw his grandmother die in a house fire. From then on, he was shuffled from one relative to another, until he was old enough for “the man” (owner of the plantation) to give him a two-room, run-down shanty to live in. After many years of dire poverty, Denver got tired of his life on the cotton plantation and left. He jumped on a train to leave. He ended up in Ft. Worth with no education or money. He lived on the streets and eventually started eating at a homeless shelter.
Enter Ron and Debbie Hall. Ron and Debbie started helping at the shelter by serving food to the homeless. They began to get involved with the homeless people, especially Denver. Little by little, they befriended and made a difference in Denver’s life. Denver turned his life around with their help and God’s, and he started helping the other homeless people. What had been put into him, he started using for God’s glory.
I’m reminded of another story that somewhat resembles Denver, Ron, and Debbie’s story. There was a girl that lost her dad when she was 7 and her mom when she was 13. What were she and her two brothers going to do? Where were they going to live! She felt homeless, but not despair. She actually felt a sense of peace settle over her, knowing God had it all in control. Enter her older sister (22 yrs. old). Her older sister took her and her two brothers in to live with her family. Oh, how thankful she was for good food, a good home and safety.
Eventually, this little girl graduated from high school, went to Bible College, and married a young minister. They assisted in churches and then moved on to pastor churches. But one day God called her and her husband to work in a place that had homeless, neglected and abused children. God’s call to this ministry was very strong! They said yes!
Now she knew! After all these years, she realized that she had gone through all of her pain and suffering as a young girl to be able to help other children that came from “the same kind of different as me” background.
In story #1, Denver made a difference in his world! In story #2, the little girl was me!
I hope I am making a difference in a lot of “some ones lives!”
What are our resolutions in this New Year? Read the Bible through? Read more books? Lose weight? Be more friendly? I hope our resolutions include helping those that cannot help themselves, to be more sensitive to the needs of others, and to reach out with our time and finances to make a difference!
Never be ashamed of your past, but let your past be an instrument you use to help others. Did you go through things just for yourself? No, it was meant to broaden your ministry to others.
Because of the way people have grown up, they may “feel different.” It’s our job to let them know they are like everyone else, and most of all, that God loves them just as much!
Do we have more Rons, Debbies and Denvers out there? Let God speak to you and answer His call! He will use your hands and hearts to see His will done, one wounded soul at a time!