...and Jesus said"Go and do the same."
The Message Bible
Recently Steve and I were in downtown Salem.We shop at garage sales and thrift stores often to try and stretch his disability checks.It works well for us and we just love saving money in this way.We came across a newly opened thrift store on Commercial Street called the Project 10:37 thrift shop.It was small.Crowded.But this afforded us the opportunity to speak with the proprietor that day.He had a story to tell.They opened this shop to try and help the local homeless population.There are many homeless in Salem.We were told that proceeds from the store go to help the homeless and pay to rent the movie theater downtown that doubles as a church on Sunday mornings.Turns out that they lost about 75 % of their funds and about 80 members of the congregation when the homeless began to attend this church.The people that left were the ones who had jobs and income.I never cease to be saddened by the behavior of those who call themselves by the name"Christian."But that's another story.They could not handle being around people who had fallen on really hard times and were in need of many things so they left instead of sharing what they had.Sad.Because without God's grace and favor in our lives any one of us could be that homeless person in need.Any one of us could be cold or hungry or dwelling under a bridge night after night.So,to make up for this dramatic loss of income the pastor and some volunteers have opened up this thrift shop.And they based it's name on the passage in Luke 10 about the Good Samaritan.I could not help but notice the parallel between this story and what this church has experienced.It was the religious that passed by on the other side leaving that man alone in his suffering.It was the religious who left this church instead of staying to help and share what they had.How this must grieve the heart of God.For He has much to say in His word about how the poor among us are treated.So we stayed and heard this man's story and were spurred to action.Just when we thought we had nothing left to give ourselves we found some items we could donate to help this store out.And if time and health permits we may go and help organize their shop.:-)It really takes so little to help a ministry like this.They will gladly accept help of just about any kind.Donated items.Volunteers to help organize and sort items.Monetary donations.Please consider helping them out if you are in the Salem area.Or if you come here from time to time check them out.We found some things we could use for a very reasonable price.And if you are in another state or too far away to shop or help here consider your own local community.Perhaps there are similar ministries that could use your help.And you will bless them and bless God by being a modern day Good Samaritan.
Love and Blessings~Sharon