2011 Year In Review

6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. – 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 NLT

We are all just seed planters.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that and we want to save the world, but in reality we have no control over someone’s spiritual growth or acceptance.  We just have to accept people where they are in life, love them unconditionally and begin to walk alongside them so that they can see by our actions that we care and that God cares.  We have been so blessed with all of your offers of help, donations, and volunteer time this past year that we cannot thank you enough.  We are so encouraged at what God is doing in our community.  We are continuing to see the ones being served become the servants.  We are seeing lives being transformed by CONNECTING, SERVING, GROWING and LEADING.  I encourage you to please take the time to read all about the exciting things that happened in 2011 and what the future holds for Jesus Was Homeless in 2012.  I think you’ll agree that God is up to something.

Over 25,000 Weekly Meals Served 


It’s hard to believe that what started out as 48 sack lunch style meals being prepared in our kitchen each week, has now grown to over 500 each week. We thought it was crazy when we delivered/served 11,000 meals that first year. We thought it was incredible that we delivered/served over 20,000 meals the second year, but we really can’t believe we’ve delivered/served almost 26,000 meals this year.  I think what’s really eye opening about this year is that we are delivering meals to fewer motels than in the past and we’ve still seen a 30% increase. The need is much greater this year over last year. There are many more families living in motels than in past years.

Life Transformation

As we enter our 4th year of serving we continue to see lives being transformed. Getting to see firsthand how God changes lives and offers hope to people is what has the greatest impact on Amy and I, from those we serve and those that volunteer.  We have such a diverse group of volunteers, some are the very ones we have been serving.


For instance, we have a lady that was homeless, living under a bridge that was finally able to get into a motel. She started checking out our Life Support Discussion Group from a distance. Over time she joined in and now we’ve seen her grow exponentially. She landed a good job and now leads a group of our volunteers each week.


During the summer we usually have a lot of church/youth groups come and volunteer. Sometimes the pastors will struggle with the fact that we do not evangelize. On one occasion a

pastor called me over for some advice.  He had met a

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gentleman that was in the pit of life and struggling with alcohol addiction and didn’t know what he should say or do. The man was heavily intoxicated but I let him know that we’ve all been in that pit and we would walk with him through it if he liked. Unfortunately, he was not a Christ follower at that time but it allowed me to plant a seed by praying for him. Afterwards the pastor asked me if that should have been a time we evangelized. I explained to him that one, he was heavily intoxicated and two, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and three, we planted a seed. Over time I would check on him each week, talk with him and begin to build a relationship. Just a few weeks ago he reached out for me to take him to detox for his drinking. He may go to detox several more times but it proved to me that he trusts us and now we can begin to cross the bridge of spirituality.


We have a volunteer in his early twenties, he does not try to hide the fact that he (like so many of us) has not always made the best choices. He wears gages, has piercings, tattoos and crazy hair and by society’s standards does not fit into “main stream”. It was by the end of our first conversation that I understood what God was trying to get across when he said, “Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart”. His heart for God has inspired us and encouraged several of his friends to now volunteer with him. This group of outcast young twenty-somethings, Generation Y, came across a homeless man living underneath a bridge., they gathered food, a sleeping bag and Homeless Manother necessities to give to him on our weekly Thursday night delivery route. Still wanting to do more, they eventually were able to find him housing and now, he in turn comes to volunteer.


It’s about life on life, meeting people where they are at in life and coming alongside them. These are just a few of so many stories each and every week about lives being transformed.

Yellow Bike Program

In March, we started the Yellow Bike Program with 12 bicycles that we placed at 6 weekly stay motels to help meet the transportation needs of the many people that we serve. Skeptics told us how the bicycles would not work very well as they were single speed bikes and there were too many hills. We were told they would all be stolen in a week. But in less than 6 weeks the bikes had over a thousand miles on them, so they were definitely being used. With the help of a donation from the Lions Club we were able to equip the Yellow Bike Program with tools

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and bike stands to repair bikes. Over the course of the last few months we were able to repair almost 40 bicycles and give them to people in desperate need of transportation thus preventing ours from being stolen. Many of those that received a bicycle came to the Yellow Bike shop and donated volunteer hours by working on the bike that they would receive or someone else’s bike. We hope to launch more Yellow Bike locations in 2012.

"Love Your Neighbors" BBQ's

This year we held 5 “Love Your Neighbors” BBQ’s at different weekly & extended stay motels. These BBQ’s are a great opportunity to break down the social-economic walls that separate us as a community. It is a time when we can provide a fun, hot meal and begin to build relationships with those that live and work in the area businesses. This year was special as we had many community supporter’s like Famous Dave’s BBQ that provided our hamburgers, but not just any hamburgers, there were � pound delicious hamburgers. It really helped to show those that we were serving that we not only cared about them but want them to have the very best.

Joplin Trip

When Amy & I heard the news that Joplin had been devastated by an F5 tornado we knew we had to do something to help. As ideas ran through our minds we kept landing on the thing that Jesus Was Homeless does best, and that’s feed & love on people. With just a few days of preparation Amy began making some phone calls to see if we could raise volunteers, supplies and financial resources to go to Joplin over Memorial Day weekend and serve. We really didn’t have a plan as it was still very chaotic in Joplin and finding where we could fit in and serve was challenging to say the least. As many have now experienced and heard, the pictures did not do the devastation justice, but once we arrived we found a location and set up to begin cooking. Several team members then began taking food to those volunteers and victims working out in the field. Over the course of 2 days we served close to 2000 meals and experienced some awesome “God” moments that were both humbling and rewarding.

Van Stolen

 It’s not surprising that with the current economic situation that crime would be on the rise in our area. What is surprising is that we would become a victim. In July, one of the JWH vans was stolen and used in several burglary attempts. Fortunately, the Taney County Sheriffs Department was able to apprehend the suspect but not until he damaged the steering column, dash and several other parts of the van. The suspect pled guilty to the crime and is now serving a prison sentence but has not made any restitution.

4th Annual "Love Your Neighbors" Thanksgiving Day Dinner

As our year came to a close we finished up with our 4th Annual “Love Your Neighbors” Thanksgiving Day Dinner. We had close to 300 volunteers and over 700 served or were served. The Thanksgiving Day Dinner continues to be the highlight of our year as we truly get to thank God for the opportunity that we have to serve those in our community with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, a free thrift store with hats, coats and toiletry items and lots of love.

2012 "The Living Room"

As we enter the new year we feel as though God is up to something BIG. In the last three years we have seen tremendous growth both from a serving need, with a 30% increase, as well as with volunteers, as we are averaging close to 100 each week. It was time for a physical location for Jesus Was Homeless to call home. God blessed us with a central location so that many of our clients will be able to receive the services that we offer without having transportation. Beginning in February we will be located in the Vista Plaza shopping center across from Wal-Mart on Hwy 76. We will be on the back side, lower level, 2005 Hwy 76, suite 6. This is where we will see lives continue to transform.

LIFE SUPPORT Discussion Groups

This is a safe environment, free from judgment or condemnation where all people can process their hurts and brokenness and begin to heal and experience a loving God. This is where discipleship will take place so that the ones being served can become the ones serving in our community.

Service Projects

In 2011 we created a culture of serving each month with our Life Support Discussion Groups by providing Super Bowl Baskets for the Branson Fire and Police Departments, serving at a Loaves & Fishes dinner, playing bingo at a retirement home and doing a neighborhood trash clean-up.

Gateway Branson

New in 2012 will by our Gateway Branson. It will be “Church for people who don’t like church”, where “No Perfect People are Allowed”. We started these at Denny’s by providing a free breakfast once a month. This will be an internet church campus for people that would normally not go to church. A place where we hope they won’t feel judged, a place where they won’t feel that we just want their money and a place where maybe they won’t think all Christians are hypocrites.

Wish List

Homeless ManWe have a current need for a refrigerator and a freezer.

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We have a need for a 12-15 passenger van.  If you have a motel that uses it for housekeeping and your thinking about trading it in we can provide a tax deductible donation.
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Homeless ManWe have a need for a breakfast bar complete with waffle makers, donut holders, etc. and a small curved counter. 
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Homeless ManWe need a 3-4 well steam table and a meat slicer.
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Homeless ManWe need about 6-6′ folding tables, 100 restaurant style chairs, 10 small 30″ round Homeless Mantables and 5 small 30″ round high-top tables.
We would also like NLT (New Living Translation) Life Application Study Bibles (Large Print) for our LIFE SUPPORT Discussion Groups.
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And of course we will always be able to use the green stuff.

JWH T- Shirts

We sold a record number of shirts this year.  These shirts help to create awareness as they are great conversation starters.  Our Jesus Was Homeless T-shirts are a 100% preshrunk cotton super heavyweight tee shirt.  When you purchase a Jesus Was Homeless T-shirt you help to provide up to 4 meals for those in our community.

Follow Us on Facebook

Want to know when the next service project is?  Want to see the latest BBQ photos?  Want to connect with other “like-minded” people?  If you want all the latest information, meeting times, and JWH news be sure to join our Fan Page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jesuswashomeless.org

It's Not Just In Branson

Did you know 1 in 2 Americans are now poor or low income?  Did you know 1 in 5 children now live in poverty in the United States?  Did you know the working age poor population is the highest since the 60’s?  Watch these incredible stories by 60 minutes to learn about the kids that are affected by living in motels and cars.