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Homeless Christians Give
$69.40 For Missions


BY DIANA CHANDLER                                                                                                  ©2012 Baptist Press

A $69.40 offering by a group of homeless Christians in Vermont reminds a local Baptist leader of the widow's two mites that Jesus commended in the Gospels.

Terry Dorsett, director of the Green Mountain Baptist Association, has a new perception of the homeless because of the gift to the association's mission offering for starting new churches and meeting church financial emergencies. Dorsett has asked the financially able among the association's 35 churches to match the donation.

"I think we tend to think of homeless people just as being a bunch of addicts and people with problems," Dorsett said. "And then while that does describe many homeless people, there's a whole subculture of homeless Christians who obviously don't have those problems and they're just trying to live for the Lord in a different lifestyle setting than most of us might choose.

"So perhaps we have misjudged how committed some homeless Christians are in the Kingdom of God," Dorsett said. "These homeless people have set the example for generous living. Shall we follow their example?"

The $69.40 gift reflects gratitude by the Little Flock of Jesus for the blankets, clothing, fast-food gift certificates, meals, Bibles and fellowship extended to the homeless by Restoration Church and Burlington Street Ministries, pastor and ministry director David Russell said.

Because of the outreach, the Little Flock of Jesus went where homeless typically gather and collected humble donations to give in return.

"They said, you know, we just want to give back, and so they gave themselves a two-day challenge," Russell said. "They wanted to raise $100; that was their goal. But they couldn't raise $100 in that two-day period, and they were really apologetic for not raising $100. But they raised ... $69.40.

"They just passed the hat among the homeless ... and just urged everybody to put in some money," Russell said. "I just told them that God would bless them for that because of their generosity and I told them it was just an unbelievable, incredible thing for them to give money for an offering" -- the assocation's Borders Mission Offering -- "that's going to plant churches that they'll never, ever go to."

Russell knows many committed Christians who make their home on the streets.

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