My Family


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My Family,

 

I often find myself alone and pondering where you are.  Many of you I see several times a week and some—just fleeting glimpses on rare occasions.  Even as each moment passes, I miss you more and more.

 

At first you were just shadows, passed in desperation.  Yet now, parts of me-each face imprinted in my memory-each voice echoing in my heart.

 

Its cold outside now, and as I sit here in my warm solace an utter sense of panic and shame befalls me.  I fear for you– your shivering now and how I wish I could do more to keep you warm and help you on your path.  My heart breaks at the thought of the cold concrete pressed against your skin.

 

I started in this world not knowing you-yet now, I can never forget you.  My family, you have grown over the years.  I feel blessed to have this one moment in time to just let you know how much I love you. Thank you for being a part of me–

                                                                                                                                                             Angel

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The Last Supper -


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The Last Supper (for a bit) with Isaiah 61 Ministries, (APRIL, ANGEL, Kids and all Home-Lost of Harrisburg, PA) thank-you for the kindness… you have ‘paid it forward’! We have (so much) enjoyed the laughter, tears, new friendships, witnessing the illumination of unselfish kindness and the gratifying experience assisting the serving of those way-less fortunate (ATM) than ourselv…
es.

Our last visit with Isaiah 61 Ministries was filled with excitement and blessings – we were able to help serve, once again an excellent meal, brought only by April and Angel themselves. To watch this family in action, one would think they were witnessing angels at work – everyone from the Founder, Co-Founder to their children; every last one enjoying their missionary work.

Uncertain to whether it was the fact that this was to be our last meal – along with them for some-time or if it was the fact that we pushed away all of the obstacles that were placed in front of us; of course it could very well have been the interview we enjoyed so much with our friend “Fish” (interview to come shortly). Whatever it was that day, ALL involved were blessed.

We followed behind (in our vehicle) Fish as he led us in and out of traffic (on his bicycle), to the destination, nearly late for set-up. When we arrived Fish had the smart idea to chain his bicycle to the truck, as a way (we suspected) to keep us around until all was wrapped up. Yet, we had no intention of leaving, not until work was completed.

The prayer (as-usual) was so righteous (Courtesy of Angel) and the fellowship as we gathered round the food site was amazing. Our new-found friends (a lot of familiar faces) as well as some new ones; each and every one had a wonderful time.

Angel took us to different areas, where we went in search of the faces that didn’t show up – the faces he knew would be hungry. As we went for our ride-along, we set up shop in front of an old friends’ home site. Grateful we stopped by; they were able to have full-bellies that night as well as fellowship.

Overall, the night was a huge success and we will miss our friends in Harrisburg… until we see them again!

Thanks to you all for allowing Stone to Bread into your home, your mission and welcoming us into your life as family.

Article by InnerSpirit (freelance Writer)

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Giving All That She Had


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I went along with the Isaiah 61 group to see Joyce Meyers on Saturday, August 4, and sat next to one of our homeless clients, a lovely lady named …..

When the time came for the envelopes and collection plates to be passed around to collect money for Joyce’s ministry – Hand of Hope – everyone was rustling around in their purses, writing checks and filling their donation envelopes in preparation for the collection.  Our client dug in the bottom of her purse, and whispered to me “I only have a quarter”, then put her donation in her envelope.

I was moved almost to tears as I realized that this lady was giving all she had, much like the story of “the widow’s two mites” in the Bible, which reads: “Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had…” Mark 12: 41-44

Please consider digging deep into your resources as you support the charity of your choice.

Blessings, Trish Carle, Board Member and Secretary, Isaiah 61 Ministries

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Help for the Homeless

Help for the Homeless in Harrisburg Pennsylvania comes in many forms, from many people.

Isaiah 61 Ministries has dedicated themselves to this calling from God and they work with the homeless every day of the week.

A couple of years ago my wife told me about April Ocasio, a woman who she had heard about who has made incredible sacrifices in her own life to help people less fortunate. My wife had heard about April from a friend at our church so we decided to to do what we could to help. We volunteered to serve on a few dinner missions at the Swatara Church of God where April and he husband Angel coordinate some incredible events for people in need.

Help for the Homeless in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

What we experienced there was a profound and overwhelming realization that no matter how bad things seemed to be in our lives, we weren’t living on the streets. The other amazing thing was how grateful these people were for what they did have and how so many of them had such great attitudes of gratitude! Many of them praised God for all of their blessings. Most of us might look at them and not be able to see very many blessings, but these people are alive, breathing, have clothes on their backs and food in their stomachs. It doesn’t matter that they are heading back to living in a box, a makeshift tent, an abandoned building or worse yet, the cold concrete in a doorway or under a bridge.

These people appreciate what they have and realize that in many places in the world, people have it far worse. Lesson number 1; praise God in all your circumstances, not matter how good or bad they may seem to be.

You Could be One of the Homeless in Harrisburg

My wife and I continued to help when we could. I was working a job that had me traveling all the time so I wasn’t in town often enough to help each week and we live nearly 60 miles from Harrisburg. Things can change in the blink of an eye and on Oct. 28, 2011 I was let go from my job. It didn’t matter that I had been the top producer in sales for my company overall for the last 4 years, politics and tough times left me without a job. I almost instantly thought about the homeless people that I had met through Isaiah 61 Ministries and I thanked God for my blessings.

Not having an income is tough, but at least for now I have a roof over my head and much to be grateful for. The good news was that I now had time to help Isaiah 61 Ministries a little more, the bad news was that gas prices continue to rise and we are still 60 miles away. We now had the opportunity to serve on Tuesday and Wednesday nights when Isaiah 61 Ministries serves a hot meal and beverages to the homeless behind the courthouse and the Citizens Bank in Harrisburg. The Ocasio’s van rolls up at the scheduled time, they pull out 3 long tables and set up the food and drinks. All of the meals are graciously served to anyone who shows up and the numbers of people can be staggering. One night we had about 70 people and even Angel was surprised. He said that the shelters would close at the end of March and the numbers of people would climb to around 150 but to have 70 when the shelters were still open was a surprise.

The Love of Jesus Shines on the Homeless in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

The Ocasio’s prepare the majority of the food each week in their home which is about 40 miles away in Halifax. Sometimes other people will help and bring food, but the majority of the time the entire Ocasio family contributes, all the way down to the last child. When the van rolls up, the Ocasio children hop out and start setting up the tables or interact with the homeless. I’ve seen the children run up and shake hands, give hugs and even pray with these people. They treat the homeless like family, they let them know that they are loved No matter what their circumstances. This is the love of Jesus shining through these children.

After everyone is served, the Ocasio’s pack up and then head for a much darker area of town… under a bridge, where a small community of homeless people are living in makeshift tents, abandoned buildings and wooden boxes. We saw a mattress tucked up under a bridge abutment and a man curled up trying to stay warm on this 28 degree night. Another couple of men were burning old wooden pallets to try to stay warm before they had to crawl into a dirty tent made of old tarpaulin and plastic sheets and sleep on mattresses discarded for the trash. The nicest of all the homes was a box, made of plywood sheets, it had foam insulation and even a door with a lock on it.

The Ocasio’s served food to those under the bridge and they prayed with them. They fill their needs for clothing and medicine if they have a valid prescription. The Ocasio’s and Isaiah 61 Ministries are without a doubt, the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, working with the less fortunate in the Harrisburg metro area. If you have it in your heart to help this ministry either with your service or a donation of food, clothing, furniture, toiletries or money, I can vouch for the fact that every last bit will be going to an incredible cause.

I pray that God blesses this ministry, help for the homeless in Harrisburg Pennsylvania and the people who have dedicated their lives to it, may they find abundance through the hearts and giving of others.

Written by: David Englert

 

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