Recently, I had the chance to interview Pastor Henry Sideropoulos, a friend of Jill's who has a church in our area (Northwest Pasadena) where many of the poor and homeless live. His church. aptly named Agape (the Greek word for love), moved into our area because of its commitment to help the homeless.
I deeply empathize with Pastor Sideropolis' concern, and am challenged by his question: are we willing to make room in our hearts and in our homes for the poor?
Let me repeat this challenge to each of us: would happen if each of us who has spare rooms opened up our homes to house the 1200 or so homeless folk living on our streets and help them
get back on their feet?
It isn't easy, as this story makes clear. But the alternative is dreadful. Do we really want to live in a city where homeless people die on the steps of our churches, as recently happened here?
I'm grateful to God for Henry and his small church for caring deeply about the homeless, and for doing what it can to provide them with a place to stay and an opportunity for a new life.
“Two families now live in our apartments that are on Section 8. One came from Union Station and another from Door of Hope. One of the families—a husband and wife with four kids—have stayed there for three years and are fairly stable, although the husband struggles with a drug problem. The other is a single mom with three kids, one of whom has severe psychiatric problems. We had problems with her because she wasn’t paying her rent. She is now paying rent, but we feel it’s not a good fit.
“Five members of our church work for Door of Hope. Richard Benjamin, our youth pastor, has been the Program Director of Door of Hope for the last year and a half. His brother Adam was recently hired to assist Tim Peters, the director of Door of Hope, and Jessica Spicer and Anne Tan, two of our members, also work with children at Door of Hope.
Pastor Sideropoulos wrote up an inspiring message about a homeless man who died on our doorstep.
"This morning a friend of mine texted me that there was a lot of commotion in front of our Agape’s church building, on
"We have actually taken the next step…well, let’s give some more credit to God-God orchestrated this- some of our staff and members of Agape have been working and referring previously homeless families to our church! So we have the privilege of having previously homeless families now become
members, ministers and leaders at Agape!