I don't know about you but I am already looking forward to spring and summer with warm temperatures and long days filled with bright sunshine. I am not a cold weather person. I love a lot of light and a lot of heat so the winter months, with cold temperatures and short days, are not my favorite time of year. We had a very warm October and November and I enjoyed every precious minute of those warm, sunny days, but now the reality of winter is settling in. My plants that continued to have green leaves and even some flowers during October and November are now completely brown. Temperatures are no longer above freezing so I hauled out the heated water bowls for our chickens and dogs and dug through our closet to find winter gloves and hats for us. I find that I now hurry to finish my outdoor chores so that I can quickly return to the warmth of our home.
So very frequently, after coming in from outside to our warm house, I think about the homeless people who are living on the street or in their cars. I especially think of one woman who was living in a mini van with her little dog in Fort Collins. Where is this woman living now? How does she manage to stay warm? How does she manage to keep the water that she uses for herself and her little dog from freezing? My water is nice and warm in our house so it doesn't freeze and even our chickens and dogs have electric water heaters to keep their water from freezing! But what about this woman? Her mini van was her home and we all know how cold a vehichle can get when the temperature drops. The back of her mini van was where she and her little dog slept, ate and lived. I have thought of her so many times since winter has settled in. How does she or any homeless person survive during the cold, dark winter months? I feel ashamed for the complaining and whining that I do about winter when I have a nice, warm, cozy house. It must be so very dismal and despairing to be a homeless person during the winter. I can't even imagine it. I can't imagine what it must feel like to not have a warm kitchen or warm living room. I can sit at my kitchen counter and enjoy a nice cup of hot tea anytime I want to or I can curl up on my couch with a good book and a blanket and feel warm and content. I can't imagine always feeling cold! I can't imagine not having any place where you can feel warm and content. The hardship of day to day life for a homeless person is beyond anything most of us can imagine and when you add cold, windy, winter weather into the picture then the life of a homeless person can't be anything but difficult and discouraging.
Soaring Wings Ministries does what it can to help the homeless get through the winter months. We have given out coats, hats, gloves and sleeping bags to the homeless but these efforts to help seem so pitiful and puny in light of what they really need. They need a home. They need what most of us reading this blog have. As I am sitting here writing this, I can hear our furnace kicking on to keep our house warm. I can also look out the window and see the addition that is being built for a homeless family. It needs a furnace. There are other things that need to be purchased and put into place before the addition is finished, but for right now a furnace is what comes to mind as I think about how cold it is outside.
Most of us are so very blessed with a warm house during the winter months but there are so very many people who are in need of the basic necessity of shelter. As God directs you please remember the homeless during these cold winter months. If you are able to send a donation to help purchase a furance for the addition it would be so greatly appreciated. You can mail a check to the address listed below or you can send a donation via PayPal at this webiste. As you go through each day remember the homeless who are trying to stay warm during the cold winter months. Keep some gloves, hats or warm socks in your car and share them with people that you see in need. If you really want to step out of your comfort zone, offer to take a homeless person to get a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or a hot meal. Even a short time out of the cold with food and a warm drink will reduce the effects of the cold on their bodies and spirits.
We here at Soaring Wings Ministries continue on during the winter months to serve the homeless. All that we do is done because God directed us to reach out to the homeless. We serve them with love in the name of Jesus and pray that God will bless, protect and care for the homeless during the cold winter months.
Soaring Wings Ministries
499 Trinity Lane
Wellington, Colorado 80549
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries