I read this amazing book over the weekend. It is called "Over theUnderpass" by Mike Yankoski. Basically Mike, a college student at aChristian College, decided to go out with a pal and live with the homeless for five months.
They wanted to learn what it was to have faith in God when you HAD to rely on Him for truly everything. I guess they were typical folks who COULD rely on God to supply a need, but if it God wasn't working in their time frame they always had parents or friends or their ownpaycheck to fall back on.
When I first read abut the book I had a lot of doubts about the ethics of choosing to be homeless as if it were some sort of adventure whento the people who are homeless it is a horrible reality. It seemed odd to me and sort of disrespectful in a way I guess. Thankfully lots ofpeople felt that way about it and so he made a section specifically about that to put we doubters at ease.
First of all I was impressed with the time he spent praying, studying, planning and getting advice. It wasn't something he went into lightly at all. He started volunteering at shelters and meeting with shelter councilors to get a better idea of the world he was going into and then he started out by entering an addiction recovery program so that he wasn't dropped straight into the street.
The other aspect that changed my mind was that he had objectives, and they are good ones:
1. To better understand the life of the homeless in America, and tosee firsthand how the church is responding to their needs.
2. To encourage other to "live out loud" for Christ in whatever waysGod is asking them to.
3. To learn personally what it means to depend on Christ for dailyphysical needs, and to experience contentment and confidence in Him.
Oh, and the last thing, they didn't lie to anyone. They didn't tell people they were homeless, because in reality they could have given up and gone home. They did have homes. I respected that.