Our team had the privilege of working with 6 college-aged men who participated in the Dallas Fellows Program this summer. They came alongside us as we accomplish our mission of befriending the homeless and bridging the relational gap. This week, we’re sharing Zach Hughes’ reflections on working with The Human Impact team.
"The homeless are so often walked by. We can see them as a burden, an irritant to our strolls through the city, an obstacle to encounter that makes us confused and full of questions: Should I ignore this person, or should I look them in the eye? If I look them in the eye, will they think I'm going to give them money? Should I give them money? How do I know it won't be misused? How am I supposed to be toward these people I see on the streets?
For some of us, these encounters lead to uncomfortable guilt at ignoring people. For some, they lead to uncomfortable hesitation as we give money. In very few cases do these encounters lead to mutually meaningful interactions with another human. In my time with The Human Impact, this was not the case.
We bypassed the money/no-money and the ignore/encounter internal struggles. We went to be with people. We had little agenda. Our goals were to befriend and love people, and if possible help them structurally into a better life. Our method was presence.
I truly believe that this model matches Christ's. He is always incarnational. He became flesh to be with us. He became rejected to be with those who were rejected. He touches and eats with and talks with people, often the most ostracized and ignored in society--those with leprosy, prostitutes, tax collectors, and the like. I believe the community we served with The Human Impact is the modern-day equivalent of the groups Christ was with. I feel blessed by the chance to love as Christ did, even if just for a little while. And I feel blessed by the homeless friends who loved and talked with us this summer."