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By Tobin Perry
ATLANTA — Some interactions change your day. Others have the
potential to change your life for much longer.
Just ask North American Mission Board staff member Deborah
McCutchen, whose interaction with a homeless lady under an Atlanta overpass as
part of NAMB’s annual Day of Service Dec. 6 profoundly impacted her Christmas
NAMB’s staff had been spending the day serving Atlanta’s
homeless population in partnership with 7 Bridges to Recovery, a local ministry
to the homeless through The Garden church.
As McCutchen handed a lunch to one particular homeless
resident, living in a tent, under one of Atlanta’s many bridges, she offered to
pray for the lady.
“It doesn’t matter,” the lady told McCutchen.
“Oh, it does,” McCutchen said. “God loves you. He sees you
right where you are, and He loves you.”
The lady burst in tears, as did McCutchen. “Can I give you a
hug?” McCutchen asked. The lady then reached out and pulled McCutchen to her
and continued to sob as McCutchen prayed.
“She was so hopeless,” McCutchen said. “She was so sad. She
had resigned herself to the life she was now living.”
McCutchen was one of 130 NAMB staff members who participated
in the entity’s annual Day of Service. During the Day of Service, NAMB
intentionally involves staff in Southern Baptist ministries that help neglected
neighbors, communities and children in the Atlanta area.
McCutchen, a ministry assistant who serves in NAMB’s
Mobilization and Marketing Group, was so profoundly moved by the experience
that her family has decided not to buy one another Christmas presents this year
and donate the money to buy meat for 7 Bridges to provide for the women and
children the ministry is housing.
“We sit in our offices and talk about being missionaries,”
McCutchen said. “But out there you get to be the missionary. You get to be the
hands and feet of Jesus. You get to see what difference a meal can make. You’re
on the front lines.”
7 Bridges is a ministry that began in 2001 when Pastor 7
Wells started reaching out in the places where Atlanta’s homeless, prostitutes
and addicts reside in order to share the gospel and help
them see how Jesus can restore their lives. The ministry provides food, shelter,
other necessities and spiritual guidance for men, women and children who are in
the midst of this restoration process. Pastor Wells says the ultimate goal is
to prepare those they serve to minister faithfully themselves.
“My big vision is to end homelessness in Atlanta,” said
Pastor Wells, who took the name 7 after his conversion in prison as a testament
to God’s promise to make all things new (Rev. 21:5). “This shows me that the
Body of Christ is opening its eyes and getting a taste of it so we can make
NAMB staff served the 7 Bridges team in a variety of ways—by
preparing lunches for the homeless, distributing the food and praying for the
homeless, decorating the church for Christmas, helping with a construction
project and helping out with a women’s Bible study, among other
“It is always a great privilege to
serve others especially in the name of Jesus and for the kingdom,” said NAMB
staff member Ty Salter. “I am reminded that we are more like Christ when
we are serving others and giving.”
For more information about 7 Bridges, visit 7bridgestorecovery.org.
Tobin Perry writes for the North American Mission Board.
Date Created: 12/12/2013 1:33:06 PM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC