Gave Miles Away!

In the entire month of March, we collected shoes from hundreds of people across the state of GA, and from some people who live out of State.

It was an amazing month! Why? Because we collected over 5K shoes, and were able to resource over a thousand individuals with their correct sizes. Why? Because generous, selfless, and kind strangers gave we were able to meet particle needs and minister to the homeless population in ATL.

Here is a picture of a gentlemen we met that had on five pair of socks just to fit shoes that were not his size. The beauty in this picture is found in the fact that he received dignity from a total stranger that sacrificed their shoes for him.


So, “What’s next?” you might be asking… I’m glad you asked.

The entire month of April, #lovebeyondwalls is getting planted in our office/storage space. Why? Because we have a vision to connect & resource many other organizations with items, serve more people, and build relationally with many under-resourced people and lead them on a life-changing relationship with God.

It’s a pretty huge vision, but it will happen one step at a time. And, the first step is getting planted. Therefore, we are literally planting “LOVE” in our city.

I cannot believe tomorrow marks a historical month for our “young” organization. It is commonly known as “April Fool’s Day” to many, but to us it is a reminder that “God takes the foolish things to confound the wise…”

It is a reminder that God is using us to do God’s work to help restore lives and reach people! We ask you to do two things:

1) We ask that you view our simple “wish list,” and help us rally items on it so we can get planted in the city of ATL, and

2) We ask that you continue to pray for our efforts!


Plant Love Campaign

We are approaching a historic month for #lovebeyondwalls! Why? Because in the month of April we will occupy our first office/slash storage space. Below is a picture if you have seen it yet:

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Of course it is not a gigantic building, but it will be something we call a headquarters & home.

It will be a “launchpad” for the work we would like to continue doing in our city (ATL), country, and world.

It will be a place where we can get planted and grow as an organization. We ask that you do four specific things to help us get planted into our new office/storage space in the month of April (whole month).

1) Pray – I ask that you pray that God allows us to get planted, and immediately continue to reach people who do not have any hope.

2) Give – I ask that you look at our simple “wish list” and contribute in of the items on it that we need. This is ALL from scratch, so we will need your help. But, if we have to spend the first month on the floor with laptops working, we are cool with that too. LOL. Simply click [HERE] to visit our “wish list” page.

3) Volunteer  – We will post the days that we will start working on the building to clean it, and make minor repairs to it. We ask that you volunteer to help get our building together. We will need help getting organized, painting, etc. Why? As we get planted, we can help more people.

4) Share our story – If you know someone who could help us move forward, share our story. You never know who “you know” that we can help, or could help us.

Thank you for reading this blog. Pray for #lovebeyondwalls as we aim to “PLANT LOVE” in the city of Atlanta! Below is the graphic for the new campaign #plantlove

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Homelessness & 5th Graders

Yesterday was one of the best speaking engagements I’ve ever had! Why? Because I got a chance to speak to a classroom of bright, articulate, intelligent, and hope-filled 5th graders at Cheatham Hill Elementary.

I was invited by an educator who recently learned about LBW (Ms. King), and what we are doing to raise awareness about homelessness and other issues in the city (ATL) and country. Ms. King asked me to share stories with her class that paralleled a non-fiction novel they are reading. The novel contains stories of homelessness, and the stories I’ve experienced (while homeless for three days) bring those non-fiction stories to life.

As I shared, I began to see many student(s) faces light up while they listened intently… Also, I started to see lights go off in their heads.

After I gave my talk, it then dawned on me–homelessness is connected to so many educational topics! One student asked, “Why are families broken…” another “Why are people poor in this country…” yet another “What are we so wasteful in this country…”

These bright students raised questions about sociology, psychology, economics, politics, and public health. I was intrigured and even inspired with how concerned these kids were with people who they don’t know (the under resourced).

I answered a couple of questions, and then this group of students asked if they could help #lovebeyondwalls with a project. It just so happened that #lovebeyondwalls is adopting 30 orphans in India (from the Dalit community) in the month of April.

They are in need of shoes and other small items, and these students vowed to raise the resources needed to supply these orphans with resources. It became a class project instantly.

So not only was my conversation filled with different areas of study, it became a beautiful picture of kids serving kids that do not have anything. Below are the two pictures! One picture are the orphans, and the other picture are the students that will help the children in India through our #lovebeyondborders campaign.

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Not About Me – 48 Hours Later!

I’m up thinking (5AM)… I cannot believe I made thirty miles walking! In fact, my eyes are sweating (LOL). I don’t think I was strong enough to make a 15 hour walk, but God saw me through it…

Over the last two days, I have gotten many pats on the back, encouraging words & well wishes for walking thirty miles on behalf of homeless people in Atlanta (and this country)… BUT, I don’t think I deserve the credit…

Why? Because without God, and the good people who were around me, I would have not completed the 30 mile walk–literally! The pictures below (among many others) prove my point:
DSC_0065DSC_0073There were many individuals & social media followers who pushed, encouraged, and stood with me the whole way (even people I don’t know). Additionally, there are many people on the #lovebeyondwalls team that helped make the “LOVE RALLY & WALK” possible. Many people on the team even stayed the night with me in the parking lot at Crossroads Church (I’m extremely grateful for them).


What am I saying? I’m glad you asked. Without God, my wife/family, & a solid support system, #lovebeyondwalls wouldn’t be anything. Of course we would do work, but not without the support from good people that God sends.

So instead of making this blog about me, I would like to make it about the people who made history with me, and the people we advocated for–people who face homelessness by living on the streets, in shelters, or living with loved ones without a residential address. It’s over a million of you! And, If you fit this category, YOU DESERVE A VOICE!

It’s the people that go through life without support that need a voice!  It’s the individuals who have a heart to serve and help others that need the platform. NOT ME. I’m just trying to be obedient to God, and follow Jesus’ model… I know if he were walking the earth, he’d be involved in broken communities and loving on the poor.

Although I cannot name everyone who helped, I’d like to say you know who you are! You rock, you are special, and God is using you to help uplift people who are looked down upon!

In closing, I would like to list four words that I thought about the entire walk that helped me finish:

1) Resilience – This word means to continue despite present difficulties, and to press forward continuously.

2) Love – This word is a verb, and must be shown through demonstration. This word also restores and protects.

3) Teamwork – This word means nothing in this world happens alone… There is always a team needed to achieve great goals.

4) Family – This word helped me to remember that I have a solid support system who believes in me–my wife, kids, and loved ones!


The Countdown Begins (DAY 11 1K SHOES)

Today, I am 11 DAYS AWAY!

Help us #givemilesaway for our March Campaign! I am walking thirty miles to raise 1K shoes for those who are homeless and in need. Drop-off locations are on the artwork below! Spread the word…



The Countdown Begins (DAYS 28-26 STORIES ARE AMAZING)

I really can’t believe I only have 26 more days until I walk 30+ miles on behalf of ALL who are homeless in this country! This is totally something I have never done before in my life, but I feel like I should. I may be as focused as ever at this point! Why? Because I truly have a heart for those without a voice!

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Here’s why:

This past saturday, we mobilized 40+ volunteers to hit the streets with us to engage those who are homeless in ATL! I truly encourage those who serve with us not to give ONLY a hand-out, but connect with them as people and HEAR their stories.

I encourage people to build relationships in hopes to create trust between the served and those that serve. NOT TO SAVE, BUT TO RESTORE DIGNITY! Well, something special happened this past Saturday…

A young lady (Flowers) who has been serving with us connected with a gentlemen, heard his story, talked to him for hours, and wrote down tons of free resources for him to use to get himself together (and off the streets).

Well, when we went out there again… this same guy walked up to her, and shared with the entire group all the steps he had taken. He was clean shaven, showed the group many of the things he had collected, was looking for work, and mentioned he was checking himself into a facility this week (WED). Even better, he prayed with us at the close…

People who served (young and old) got a chance to see what God can do through relational power!

This story is powerful because he remembered not the handouts, but Flowers taking time to hear his story.

We are checking up with him this week for encouragement and to make sure he follows through. With stories like these, I can’t help but to see this 30 mile walk through, continue to build #lovebeyondwalls, and continue to love on those that are forgotten… Continue to pray for my strength as I prepare mentally to take this huge step of faith.

Below is a picture of our new friend Tony! Pray for him, and his new steps toward freedom!

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The Countdown Begins (Day 45 BUSY WEEK)

We have a pretty busy week this week…

On Thursday, we will be partnering with Mundy’s Mill Middle School (interviewing with 40+ students about homelessness, and discussing ways in which we can combat it).

On Saturday, we will be passing out socks again from 8AM-9AM (in many locations downtown Atlanta), and afterwards we will be partnering with Area 1 Young Men’s Conference at South Cobb High School (to speak with 200+ young men about DREAMS & making wise decisions).

On top of these, I am still on my 50 day journey. It’s been five days of eating healthy, and drinking water. Continue to pray for my strength, and #lovebeyondwalls. We are making small steps forward.



Destroy Walls, Embrace Diversity!

Growing up (from childhood until late teens), I was only in direct contact with a predominately African American context! All my schools, social outings, churches, sports, and any other activities were always around peers that looked like me… In fact, I wasn’t exposed to REAL diverse relationships until my mid twenties (sad to say).

Was anything wrong with the way I was reared? No. It was natural, and the area where my family lived reflected my race, culture, history, and background. However, I believe growing up without REAL diversity can impair you a little (no matter what race you are). A lack of diversity does two horrible things:

1) It creates stereotypes about other races – Stereotypes and negative imagery creates a negative lens through which people are seen. Of course, cultures are different (ALL SHOULD BE RESPECTED), but negative prejudices, stereotypes, and assumptions can cause people to not see the beauty in all cultures. The sad thing about stereotypes is that most of them could be totally FALSE (you have to get to know people for yourself).

2) It creates distance between cultures & races – When stereotypes are formed, it accompanies opinions, judgement, dehumanization, and ultimately distance. It saddens me that segregation still happens more than intergration on Sunday mornings in the South. In fact, the horrible thing about distance is that it causes coldness, numbness, and a lack of sympathy and respect for other cultures.

Why does this bother me? Because I love diversity and am an advocate for reconciliation. Of course, there is a negative history that haunts us all, but I believe love is greater and will be the only way to bridge the gap in the present. I didn’t grow up with much diversity, but have a heart to bridge the gap between races & cultures.

Will this be easy? NO! But, I can model and reflect it as much as I can in my own life (I’m learning too)…

That’s why “diversity” is a core value of #lovebeyondwalls. It is important for us to accept, embrace, and respect people from all walks of life. Everybody has a story!

I was recently asked, “Why did you choose the name #lovebeyondwalls?” And my response was simple,

“At any given point, political, race, class, religious, and cultural walls can separate us all… Keeping us from solutions to problems, togetherness, and the main focus, LOVE! In fact, I believe God’s love is the only thing that can roam pass those walls and reach people where they are with the good news.”

This morning, I am joining my brother Carl Nichols (pastor of Relevant Church), to discuss my homeless journey, but more importantly to reflect a diverse picture of God’s larger family. As we interview to talk about God’s mission, we are indirectly destroying walls that exists between cultures & races (especially as it pertains to the church world).

Our coming together shows two ways to close the gap on the distance,

1) Come together. The first way to destroy walls is to take a step toward reconciliation and toward a conversation.

2) Partnering. By partnering you get a chance to work along side each other and understand each other’s background, story, history, and how each person sees the world.

I am excited because the earth is a Mosaic full of cultures, and so is the God we serve! I am grateful for the diverse relationships God has given me in my life. Here’s a thought, “Destroy Walls, Embrace Diversity…”

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