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Stories

Results-Oriented Homeless Ministry

When Howard and Lynn Cary walk into our dining hall every Saturday morning, people surround them, greeting them warmly. In turn, they reply to each individual and enquire about their well-being. Then Lynn and Howard head to the back of the room, where they lead an interactive breakfast devotional for any who want to participate. This Saturday morning ministry is just a tiny part of the Carys’ impact on people’s lives in Frederick.

When Howard and Lynn started volunteering with us 16 years ago, they had no idea their service would blossom into the ministry it is today. Howard explains, “I thought I’d just plop some food on plates, and that would be it. I didn’t know there would be all this opportunity to care for people!” Lynn says they didn’t know what they were doing when they started reaching out to the homeless population. “We were building a boat in the middle of a river!”

God uses the Carys to transform people’s lives, but they know that they do not control the timing or direction of the transformation. They say they are results-oriented rather than goal-oriented. “Our only goal is to share the love of Christ.” As they share that love, they sometimes see people who have been homeless for years become self-sufficient. Transformation takes time. Howard says to homeless individuals, “I need to make sure you know I see you.”

Every Sunday, Frederick Christian Fellowship’s outreach team (also led by the Carys) picks up and drives homeless individuals to the church. Some of whom are ushers and greeters in Sunday services. Then, often on Sunday afternoons, the FCF outreach team faithfully serves lunch at the Mission. Additionally, the church has served lunch on Christmas Day for many years. This past season, they hosted games, a movie, and a raffle for Christmas gifts. Everyone left with a present, ranging from Walmart gift cards to bicycles!

The Carys offer this advice for people who want to help individuals experiencing homelessness: “Don’t force what you think they need. Listen to what they say their needs are.”

One homeless man was very private and overtly hostile to the Carys when they first met. After six months of Lynn and Howard showing him friendship, he confided in them, “I’m tired of running my life, doing the same thing and getting the same results. I’m ready to come to Christ.”

Thanks to you, the Carys have a place to build relationships with Frederick’s homeless population. Your donations run the dining hall that sets the stage for the Carys’ ministry.

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