We are sleeping outside for all of Lent to raise awareness and funds for the homeless through Mission Waco. Consider joining us.
Parts of Waco are pretty idyllic. There are towering trees and beautiful buildings and neatly trimmed bushes. There's Cameron Park, the suburbs, and historic sections of downtown. And then there's the other side of Waco. There's no-mans land, a neighborhood bordering Waco and Bellmead, unclaimed for decades because no one wanted to clean it up. There are abandoned lots turned into neighborhood dumps. There's the government housing, lots and lots of government housing, where the poor are surrounded by the poor, making it all the easier for the cycle of poverty to continue.
Kids in these neighborhoods are targeted earlier on as drug runners. Corner stores across the street exploit the people in their poverty, feeding addictions and providing unhealthy food. Every other house is abandoned in some neighborhoods. Some have boarded up windows that have been pried off. Others have tags placed on the door announcing the house will be impounded soon. Schools are overwhelmed and struggle to provide an adequate education with so many underprivileged students. The cycle continues.
In the midst of brokenness, Mission Waco is bringing restoration to this city. The non-profit began in 1978 and has been serving the poor of Waco ever since. Mission Waco is a charity that empowers the poor and helps them help themselves. It understands the broken relationships at the heart of systemic poverty.
This year, Jared and I have been able to spend time serving our city and rebuilding broken relationships through Mission Waco. Spending time in the other side of Waco has given us a greater understanding and love for the faces behind poverty and a drive to do something. So we decided to sleep outside for Lent.
For the last 33 nights, with just one exception, Jared and I have slept outside. We decided to give up our beds for two reasons. First, we wanted a glimpse into the world of the poor. We wanted to know what the cold and windy nights feel like. We wanted to know what it's like to get woken up and told you can't sleep somewhere. It's obviously different when you come back in to a warm shower and meal, but this has given us a tiny view into their world. Sleeping outside has been a way for us to love the poor enough to step into their world for several hours each night.
The second reason we are doing this is to raise awareness and funds to allow Mission Waco to continue their work. We want to invite YOU to be a part of this restoration. Please consider joining Mission Waco as they use Christian, relationship-based programs to empower the poor and the marginalized in this beautiful city.