Much has changed in three years since Family of God, Detroit (FOG) moved from the little storefront church in Southwest Detroit on Sharon and Vernor to its new location on Whittaker Street.
There are more people attending on a daily basis and worship services now take place in a beautiful sanctuary. There are more ministry opportunities such as kid’s summer programs, tutoring, and a Narcotics Anonymous group. FOG also hosts the Luke Project 52 Clinic and Pan de Vida, an LCMS Spanish worshiping congregation. Connections have been made with Elli’s House Ministry to make a difference for victims of human trafficking. These partnerships are unanticipated blessings.
With all these opportunities, FOG is refocusing to maintain its mission to the hopeless: drug addicts, the homeless, and those caught up in human trafficking. Deacon Tim LeClair, soon to be an SMP pastor, and I acknowledged that there are so many people out there who are either unaware FOG exists or are too far away to walk to us.
These off-the-grid people are everywhere and there is so much more to do. It’s easy to say “we can’t serve everyone” and limit the mission, but FOG is asking the question: How can we do more? How do we get to these prodigal sons and daughters?
Christ’s words echo: “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:36–40).
The first step was to pray. The answer came quickly: Street ministry.
FOG needed to become mobile. What happened next was amazing! God provided a brand-new pull-behind trailer that has a heater and generator for electricity!
After Tim described the vision of this ministry to a co-worker, donations from One Sheep Ministry (Trinity and Grace, Monroe) covered the full cost. God’s plan was underway! The trailer provides a change of clothing, a safe, warm place to change, shelter, hot food, hygiene kits and, most importantly, the message of hope that only the Gospel affords.
FOG’s trailer goes out on the first and third Saturday morning of every month with a team of 4-6 people. The congregation relies on God’s provision through its supporting congregations and donations for the funds and food. The team meets at FOG at 7:30 a.m. to load the trailer with food, clothing, and other resources required for the day and then leaves at 9:30 a.m. The route begins at Patton Park on the west side of Detroit and ends at Clark Park, also known as Mexicantown.
Deacon Tim is excited and blessed to be heading up this ministry. FOG trusts God’s plan to bring some comfort to those who are suffering; but most importantly, HOPE to a place infected with hopelessness and despair.
Please remember Family of God’s Street Outreach Ministry in your prayers, and prayerfully consider joining them in this effort that God is using to reach His people! Find out ways to get involved at michigandistrict.org/joinaministry.
Photos courtesy of Family of God, Detroit