This has been a year of extremes. This calendar year the temperatures in Dallas have ranged from -2° to 102°. We have seen the highest inflation rate that the country has experienced in 30 years. The price of a gallon of gas and a gallon of milk are higher than anyone would have anticipated. Property values in Dallas County have skyrocketed.
For some individuals, these changes have brought great fortunes in investments, and stock prices. For others, the changes have been catastrophic. Earlier this year, a formerly homeless friend called me in desperation. He is a disabled veteran and his apartment had gradually raised his rent each month beyond his capacity. With his meager disability check in hand, he watched his rent climb monthly from $800 per month to $1,500 per month. Neither he nor his apartment complex did anything wrong. This is the reality of the world we are living in.
Two years ago we would meet 10-15 new people each week. That is, people who have never needed our services, were brand new to us, or were experiencing homelessness for the very first time. This year we see an average of 81 new people each week. In fact, we have seen more new people this year, than all of 2020 and 2019 combined. This growth has been astonishing.
It is at this juncture of extremes and growth that we are reminded of the words of Jesus to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” How can we help them strategically? How can we serve them as we would want our families to be served? How can we give sacrificially to lead people to Christ and help them get off the streets?
How can we accomplish this insurmountable task? The answer is simple. We do it together. Together as a community, we are strong, we are capable, we are equipped, and we are called. Together this calling to love our neighbors will transform from a biblical calling, and your calling, to be our calling.
This year has been challenging and the next will bring more opportunities for us to trust the Lord. But I’m confident that together we will watch miracles happen. Together we will care with dignity, connect with intentionality and build a community of integrity.
As we close out this year, I invite you to consider making a sacrificial gift to OurCalling. It is in this season, where we see many of our homeless friends begin to decide to leave the streets. Some because of the cold weather, others because the holidays remind them of what life once was. Our team at OurCalling is able to help them off the street when they are ready, we can do that because of your generosity.
CEO and Pastor