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Serving and Surrendering Control

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As she’s grown in her relationship with the Lord, Brooke Horn has invested much of her time at OurCalling, a faith-based organization that leads the homeless to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle by building lasting relationships, making disciples on the streets, and helping them get off the streets permanently. As you learn about the ways Brooke serves, consider how the Lord can use you this summer to love our city. Find service opportunities.

How did you come to know the Lord?

“Growing up, my family and home life were unstable, and I ended up in the foster care system. When I eventually moved in with my grandparents, I was able to experience life with believers. They showed me stability and a life filled with grace. I knew Jesus and God were real, but I didn’t know the truth of the gospel. I would have called myself a Christian, but I hadn’t fully surrendered my life to Christ. I was always searching for more.

“When I turned 23, I felt like I had no direction or purpose in life and was really unhappy. I remember saying, ‘God, show me how to follow You, and I’ll do it.’ Someone invited me to The Porch two weeks later, and that’s when I heard the gospel. I realized not only that Jesus was real, but that He also died on the cross for my sins and rose again so I could have a relationship with Him (John 3:16). I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.

“My faith journey has been an ongoing process. I went through re:generation, Watermark’s biblical recovery ministry, to deal with my fear of the future and control. I still struggle with that, but now I know where to find peace (Proverbs 3:5-6). Every day is a battle because I often desire to be self-sufficient, but I know I’d be totally lost without the Lord.

“Now I know where my value lies. I know where my eternity lies. Worldly things don’t hold as much of a weight. I know that anything other than my relationship with Christ is going to come and go (Matthew 6:19-21).”

What brought you to OurCalling, and what do you do there?

“I initially chose to serve with OurCalling because my mom was experiencing homelessness, and it was on my heart to start serving with a ministry that helped the homeless off the streets. I wanted to learn more about homelessness, develop a softened heart to her struggle, and be better equipped to care for her.

“At OurCalling, I work with churches, companies, and organizations to plan events and coordinate volunteers for donation drives, packing hygiene kits, or making lunches. My favorite thing is to plan events where volunteers engage and evangelize, and they will cater food and bring games for our homeless friends.

“A huge passion of mine is to equip volunteers to have a conversation with someone on the streets. I’m equally passionate about caring for the people that come in to volunteer and the people we serve.”

How can our church body love our city?

“It starts with each individual. That’s how change happens. You can love your city by encouraging and empowering individuals. Sometimes that means giving someone a hygiene kit out of the window of your car or having a five-minute conversation to brighten someone’s day. I think often we can get overwhelmed with thinking we can’t do everything, so we don’t do anything at all. But there’s a lot of impact in small actions.

“With homelessness especially, the best thing you can do is sit down and hear what people have to say. Taking the time to see them clearly and listen to them is so impactful. If they ask for help, the best thing to do is to give them a resource, like an OurCalling directory of shelters and programs in Dallas, then take time to listen to their story. Other good resources are bus passes, $5 gift cards to fast food restaurants in the area, and hygiene kits in your car to give out when you see someone in need (Matthew 25:35-40).

“Above all, pray about whatever cause the Lord has put into your heart. Pray that the Lord would reveal a ministry or cause you can get involved in and then discern your capacity. Put your heart into it. Go into it with no reservations or expectations. Just be present and do what you can. Have an open heart to whatever it is God wants you to do.”