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We know that people will take advantage of the church. Recently, I was in a service where a young woman showed up asking for ‘food’ and I overheard one member saying that the congregation had already helped her once. The woman had sat next to me during the service. She asked me if I could help her with ‘just food.’ I realize that some advise people not to give money to those who are ‘begging’ while others advise that it’s not for us to judge the person but to give if we’re able to give. My thoughts that day were that this woman’s problems go far deeper and she wasn’t just wanting to scam people for money. I tried to focus in on her as an individual and see her spiritual needs but also saw that she had zero self esteem/self respect. 

The fact that she was willing to show up at a church service to beg demonstrates to me that she was willing to endure humiliation, judgment and scrutiny as though that was nothing new to her. How would you treat someone in this situation? 

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First I guess would be to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which I'm sure you do. If she were able bodied, I would offer her a few chores to do around the church, (supervised of course) dusting, cleaning up after services etc. see if she comes back.

JB

Thanks for replying, JB. How are you? 

After talking to that woman, I’ve been thinking about those who are in need and that it’s probably not a good idea to give cash. So I did a search of the ways rescue missions help the homeless and it pulled up a site that mentioned packing “care kits” and gave a list of the items that can be given to someone in need. The rescue mission recommended using a waterproof bag. Some things on their list of items that someone could use are as follows: 
Water bottle
Socks
Tuna and crackers
Granola Bar or cereal bar
Fruit snack or applesauce cup
Crackers with peanut butter or cheese
Gift certificate to fast food
Hand wipes
Pack of Kleenex
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Nail clippers
Band Aids
Chapstick
Comb or small brush
Mints, cough drops or gum 
Note of encouragement or uplifting Bible verse
I wonder, have you or anyone else reading this ever put together such a ‘care kit’ to keep in your vehicle in case you see someone begging?

Amanda, this is wonderful. I have given things on a smaller scale (grocery store gift cards).

I love how intentional this is. 

You’ve inspired me. Thanks for this. 

Blessings, Carla

The site said to share the info to inspire others. Supporting a local rescue mission in some way I think would be a nice gesture, too. The site said that the waterproof care kits could be easily handed out a car window to someone but that if it seems like a safe situation for you, then taking a few minutes to get out and talk to the person for a few minutes would help the person because only God knows how much they’re ignored and avoided. It recommended at least making eye contact and show the person that they matter. I think I will put some cards of encouragement that I make into some care kits that I put together. 

I agree with the importance of speaking with them. I’ve had interactions with homeless people in that regard more frequently, and I’ve always found it to be mutually rewarding. They want to be noticed more than just having something thrown at them. I believe that loneliness is a big problem. 

Thanks again Amanda. Great input

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