By Bec Cranford-Smith
Our Volunteer Spotlight for the month of March centers on Heartfelt Outreach Ministries from The Last Days Church of God. Pastor Hamm, Lady Hamm, and his amazing team have worked diligently with Gateway since 2009 through many changes.
I took time to sit down with Pastor Hamm to find out why he chooses to spend his evenings working with people experiencing homelessness.
During a pivotal time in his life, Pastor Hamm felt the call of God to minister to the lost, the forgotten, and “the mesmerized.” He can remember feeling God ask him to leave the four walls of the church. After intense prayer, reflection and with Bishop Pittman’s blessing, Pastor and Lady Hamm connected with United Way where they learned about the Gateway Center. He and his wife were overwhelmed with great joy to be with the residents and to listen to their stories on the first evening. In each service, the group shares hurts, prayers, desires, praises and personal triumphs. Pastor Hamm’s faithfulness stirs him to come every week, and he does.
Pastor Hamm remembers when the women and children stayed at Gateway, he would always make sure to have the children come into the service. He did not think anything of it at the time, but some of the mothers spoke about the impact that the church had in their children’s life.
Another congregant who previously experienced homelessness talked to me about the church. Floyd had many obstacles to housing, but found community within Heartfelt Outreach Ministries. Floyd said, “The sermons challenged me to change my way of thinking.” He successfully completed the Gateway program, and has become a member. He now serves with the church.
I asked pastor Hamm some questions about himself:
Q: What are your favorite things to do on your off days?
A: There is never a day off, when you are doing the Lord’s work. However, I am usually studying the Lord’s word and I love watching westerns.
Q: What motivates you when you are down?
A: Knowing that God is in control, and prayer.
Q: What is your favorite hobby?
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child
Q: What could you tell others about working with people experiencing homelessness?
A: Homelessness is not forever. Never judge someone by what you think they are going through, it’s not always what it looks like.
We are grateful to Pastor Hamm and Heartfelt Outreach Ministries for helping GWC change lives and end homelessness at the Gateway Center weekly. If you would like more information about Pastor Hamm, or how you can serve at Gateway, please contact Bec Cranford-Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.