To all of our readers,
We hear at HMA have been blessed beyond measure. God has allowed us to use our platform of working with American Homeless people to reach way out into so many areas. One down fall of it all has been that it confuses some people. I have been questioned over and over...”Are you working with the homeless or drug addicts or teens or just outreach in general or...?” The answer is simpler that you realize. We are setup to do biblical new testament outreach. We teach it, preach it, share it, establish it and encourage it. It takes two very important things to do new testament outreach correctly. A basic and real understanding of outreach and a basic and real understanding of Christian standards. Many church groups have moderate to radical doctrines on one or the other but in order for it to work correctly it takes a good structure of both.
With this in mind, you must have a “target” audience. A ministry without a target audience is a ministry in jeopardy of eventually going by the wayside without ever doing much of anything. I know, everybody likes to say that their target audience is EVERYBODY, and while that makes a good preaching point, you still need some regular reasoning behind what you do everyday. For example: HMA’s original target was “every body that nobody else wants”. That lead us to the homeless and the drug addicts and the prostitutes and the mental patients and eventually we were able to come up with a more clarified target audience...THE ULTRA POOR! Everyone that we have been able to target to work with in the United States has fit into that category. Sadly enough, it then becomes fairly obvious as to why the “church” isn’t targeting them. They cost money instead of being a way to make money. Oops, I wasn’t supposed to say that. To be fair, they are also often left out because people don’t understand HOW to reach them.
Well, through our efforts of preaching to drunks, druggies, homeless, minorities, inmates, etc. Many of our rapidly growing group of ministers have tried to convince me to reach specifically for children. To my shame, I have deflected and dodged the whole children’s ministry thing for a long time and the reason is even more shameful. I don’t personally “like” it, mainly because I am not “good at it”, like I am with the other types of ministries that we do. I enjoy the fact that I am very knowledgeable and experience rich when it comes to dealing with homeless, addicts, gang members, inmates, etc. Then again my calling isn’t to what I enjoy but to what lifts up Christ.
The children fall into the target group that we are already shooting for and they come with one HUGE bonus. If we reach them now, then they will not have to suffer through all the hurt, heart ache and destruction before we reach them later.
Because the Lord has called and blessed those of us at HMA that are reaching the really hardcore on the streets of America, we shall continue. This letter is to show that many of our affiliates have also begun to steadily turn some of their focus and efforts on the youth of America. Believe me, the streets of America and the youth of America definitely overlap.
We have two affiliate churches in Kentucky, one that has been doing mass children's outreach for a while now and the other that has just begun. We have an evangelist in Alabama that has been doing some great work with at risk teens and runaways for a long time. We have an affiliate church in Alabama that literally brings as many as 100 children to church on a single Sunday and feeds and teaches them about the Lord. Many of these are ultra poor and at risk children living in deep poverty. So I am letting you know that this other area of outreach that you may not have known me to talk that much about is out there and being worked just as aggressively as the rest of what we do.
Who knows what we will get into next. I know how humans, especially religious humans, feel the need to categorize everything and I realize that we are kind of hard to categorize but that is because we operate just a little different here at HMA. We have the motto: Think Outside the Box but Inside the Bible! Let that sit on your brain for a minute until it starts tingling. HAHA. I have a banner up in my office that I look at 100 times a day because it is right in front of my desk. It says: There Is No Box. For example: We here at Holiness Missions to America are known all over America for homeless and addiction work. In fact, some people still think that our name is HOMELESS Missions to America. We actually get checks made out to that, and of course we cash them. :) But when we put out our first seminar, the topic was “Affair Proofing Your Marriage”. Now to be fair we have seminars coming out on American Homelessness, Dealing with Addicts, Church and Politics and so on. But the idea that a homeless mission guy was releasing a seminar on Affair Proofing Your Marriage??? I have learned that the Christian church world as a whole is struggling with two major categories and losing terribly to both of them. Adultery and addictions. So I decided to attack the adultery thing first with the seminars, partly because we were already doing so much boots on the ground work on addictions and partly because if we don’t stop the bleeding in the marriage and in the home then we will probably never catch up on the streets.
The truth is that we at HMA don’t really care who someone is, we just want to help them. We don’t care when we help them, we just want it to be soon. We don’t care how we help them, we just want it to be biblical.
With all of this in mind, I was asked last week in Texas, “Brother Todd, you guys have sooooo many irons in the fire and you seem to be helping so many people and so many ministries...how do you do it? I mean, we barely pay our little church bills.” Here is the answer. We LIVE ministry. It is not our hobby or our career, it is EVERYTHING to us. We think of ways to spend less at home so that we can do more at the mission. We work very hard to be as debt free as possible to keep from burdening the work. Even that is not enough. We have found that there are many many wonderful people around the country that have a tender heart and a desire to see souls saved and hurts healed and people of all kinds helped. We have been blessed by God to continually tap into those resources on a regular basis. Yes we have some big donors and sponsors and thank God for them. I don’t know what we would do without them. But our main supply is the young couple, the little country church, the elderly individual that sends in there regular monthly donation of $20.00, 40.00, $100.00. The college student that mails a check for $10.00 six times a year. When we know what we can count on, we can make it go a long way toward reaching the least, the last and the lost. God bless you for reading this and please, help us help the children too.