Advice on Helping the Homeless and People in Need
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 10, Verse 16
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.”
I, a soul, was just reading a story about a monk being conned out of money by a stranger. The story disturbed me a bit, as the monk was in charge of a retreat house of a monastery and he was being conned by a stranger who later went to prison for armed robbery. It disturbed me, because as a Christian, I give donations to charities and I want the charities to be good stewards of the money that I have given to them. Because, to be honest, I do not have a lot of money and so, it is important to me that my donations are being used for a worthy purpose. I trust that the charities will keep my best interests at heart.
Now, I have never worked for any charities, nor do I know the intimate plight of the poor and needy. I can only speak based on my personal experiences. But, I want to give some advice that I believe will help many people. Because many followers of this blog, MaryRefugeOfHolyLove, are Christians and have generous hearts and want to help the people who are less fortunate. So, please forgive me if this writing is a bit off-topic for a prophecy blog. But, I really desire to help others in their daily Christian walk. I do not want people to be harmed by others who may take advantage of their kindness and loving hearts.
I will tell you all a story, but a longtime ago, when I was about 18 years old, I was coming out of the bank and was approached by a stranger—a woman who asked me for help with her gas money because her car broke down. So, out of charity, I gave this woman twenty dollars, because I have a trusting nature and well, I do not like to think that there are people who have bad intentions. Call me kind, call me gullible, call me whatever, but later, I learned that this woman was a con artist who was appearing outside of churches and banking institutions, to get money from people like me who want to believe the best in people—that everyone is good at heart.
Well, after that one-time experience, I learned to never give money directly to homeless people and others in need. Because, honestly, my heart was so hurt that someone took advantage of me like that, and well, I did not have a lot of money at the time (I still do not) and twenty dollars is a lot for me to freely give to a stranger. I just think about that twenty dollars being used for bad purposes and it hurts to be stolen from.
So, this is my advice for people who desire to be helpful to the poor and needy. Feel free to adapt it to your particular circumstances, as I know that every situation is unique and sometimes it may not help in every situation. So, I ask that people accept my advice with a grain of salt.
Well, whenever I am approached by a stranger asking for money or see a homeless person with a sign, I give them exactly what they need instead of cash. For example, when they ask for money, I ask them if they desire a meal instead. Many times, I have bought a sandwich and a bottle of water for the homeless. Yes, it takes time to go to the grocery store or nearby fast-food restaurant, but if the homeless person is honest in his need, then they will be grateful for the meal. This also works for other things that a homeless person or stranger might need. If, for example, it is clothing or toiletries or gas money, give them a gift certificate to Walmart or another store or for a gas station.
So often, we will see homeless people with their signs, and being a Christian, it can tug on our hearts if we do not stop to help them. But, honestly, giving money is not the answer, as so often, it can be used for cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and other bad stuff. A longtime ago, I used to take a particular bus route to work, and often, I would see a certain homeless man at the bus stop. Well, I got to know him and sometimes, I would provide him a meal and he was grateful. I actually re-introduced the Gospel to him and he said that my kindness towards him restored his faith in Jesus and he gave me a hug.
Jesus once said there will always be the poor in our midst, but He would not always be with them. (Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 26, Verse 11) So, the reality of poverty is very real and will not be overcome until Our Lord returns in His Second Coming. But, I want people to know that they do not have to feel guilty about not being able to help monetarily every person that we see in our daily walk.
To be honest, if I see a person in need and if I cannot stop to actually help them out, well, every person that I do see always gets a prayer from me. I always pray that they will be open to Jesus and will have the grace of final perseverance in life. So, if I cannot help them physically, I do know that I am taking care of them spiritually—which is the most needed grace of all for every person on earth.
The advice that I am giving in this writing, also can apply to family members and friends. Growing up, my mom was always sending care packages abroad to family overseas filled with clothing and school supplies for my cousins. If my family needed help with their studies, my mom would send the money directly to the college, or if rent was needed for housing, the money was paid directly to the landlord, etc.
The Lord has called each of us to be good stewards of the bountiful gifts that He has given us in life. This includes being wise about the money that He has entrusted to us to care for ourselves, our families, and others. I apologize if this writing is off-topic for a prophecy blog, but I was really bothered when I read the stories about different good-hearted people being taken advantage of by others, and in particular, a Christian charity, being taken advantage of. I donate my money to charities and I want those Christian charities to be as careful as I am with the money that I earn. I also want the Catholic Church to be good stewards of the money that I give in the collection plate each week.
Anyways, I hope that my thoughts on this matter are helpful to people to adapt in their particular circumstances. Thank you for considering this writing.
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 5, Verses 3, 6-8
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
In Christ’s Love,