Group of Churches Come Together to Serve the Homeless

( [email protected] ) Jan 19, 2004 11:30 AM EST

Austin, TX -- Micah 6, named after a Bible verse, is one of the ministries of University Baptist Church along with other local churches that reaches out to the Drag near the University of Texas campus where there are many homeless people.

"Micah 6:8 says, 'What does the Lord require of you but to love kindness, and to do justice, and to walk humbly with your God,'" University Baptist Church pastor Larry Bethune said.

Tara Nichols, a member of the University Baptist Church recalls, “If it wasn't for them, I would probably go without a meal. Like I said, food stamps, they don't buy a lot.”

"Each of our churches already has a variety of ministries we're doing. As time goes on, we will pool those ministries into single locations so we know what everybody is doing -- we know how to help anyone who comes to us -- where to send them to get the most timely help that might be available," Bethune said.

The first project of Micah 6 is a food pantry. Currently all nine churches donate $3,000 a year to pay for it.

"This is showing that churches of different Christian faiths can come together and help the homeless and the needy," Nichols said.

"People will say to me, 'this is what a church ought to be doing.' It gives us an opportunity not only to work together with Christians from other congregations, but to be face to face with people in need and to realize they are people just like us," Bethune said.

The team of Micah 6 is applying for non-profit status. After that, members want to establish a clothes closet, a financial aid center, a counseling center and an advocacy group to expand their work of God.

Knowing of the great joy that people feel by helping others, Bethune said, . "There's not a single time where we work in a food program or a freezing weather program or a food pantry where we don't end up feeling like we've received more than we've been able to give out.”