No more haircuts!

About a month ago, we met a guy named Leonard digging through trashcans! We walked up to him, stopped him, and engaged into about a 45 minute conversation with him. During our conversation, we asked Leonard a very important question, “If you had one wish, what would you do with it….” Leonard paused, thought, and then said these words… “I WISH I COULD BE MADE OVER!”

He shared with us that he hadn’t showered in over two months, and he was too far from a shelter to walk to one. In fact, he was on the outskirts of Atlanta, and the nearest shelter was over 15 miles away.

I (Terence ) distinctly remember leaving there think to myself, “There has got to be a way to make people over….” Paul writes “that God has the power to make people a new creation through the good news (2 Corinthians 5:17)”

Well, to start the process of our next awareness campaign! I (and a few others) are going to go until next year without cutting our hair (starting Nov 1)…. This month also happens to be MOVEMBER (A month dedicated toward raising awareness about men health issues)

Why? I am glad you asked. Well, you’ll find out what we will attempt to do to help people like Leonard around the city of Atlanta! Pray that God continues to resource us to take #lovebeyondwalls

Watch the video below to see the bus…. Terence

 

Serving is GOOD!

This past weekend, 50 volunteers roamed the streets of Atlanta to reach those who are homeless and in transition! We served, shared the love of God, and touched hundreds of people in need. Below are a few pictures from our time serving below!

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LBW partners with Pretty Brown Girls!

Love Beyond Walls partners with The Atlanta Chapter of Pretty Brown Girls… 25+ young ladies (ages 4-10) host a hygiene party with their parents to serve those in need. Below are a couple of cool pictures of the young ladies and their parents serving!

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LBW plants a Barbershop/Salon – #solebeauti

This past weekend, we started renovating again!

How? We decided to partner with #solebeauti to start a Barbershop/Salon in our offices to serve people in need. It’s being started by one of our team members and committed volunteers (Nicole Campbell). She is partnering with us and has vowed to donate and give discounted haircuts and styles to those #lovebeyondwalls serve in the city of Atlanta when her normal customers visits her Barbershop/Salon!

Below is a quick picture of the #solebeauti process at the LBW headquarters!

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LBW Team

Almost that time!

In less than two weeks, we are going to attempt to do something we have never done before to serve the under-resourced in Atlanta. Keep #lovebeyondwalls in your prayers as we prepare to launch the campaign.

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Terence

First Film Screening was Amazing!

This past Saturday, we encountered a little over 100 people on the campus of Ga Tech to preview our first film (Love in The Trenches)! It was an amazing experience. People stood around, engaged in conversation, looked at many of our art pieces, and got a chance to preview the film.

It was amazing because two minutes into the film, people instantly connected and started shedding tears. We all cried, laughed, and ultimately left inspired to make a difference in the world around us.

We will release the film this week on Vimeo’s platform show viewers who were not able to see it…  Below are some cool pics from our first screening at Ga Tech. IMG_8699IMG_8914

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Terence

The Day Before the film release…

This AM I feel many different emotions… Excited… Hopeful…and many other emotions that I cannot describe… Why? Because tomorrow, we’ll show our first 20 minute film as an organization at Ga Tech in the LeCraw auditorium. I cannot believe we have produced a piece that is both inspiring and challenging.

The reason I have these different emotions is simple… We’ll highlight many homeless people we have encountered this year, but some of them have moved on to other states (off of the streets) and will not be able to see the piece at the first showing. However, I know many will view via (web) when they get a chance. I cannot wait to show our piece, and reveal the next campaign we’ll do to serve the under-resourced in Atlanta.

Lastly, we will release this piece via web 8 days after we show it at Ga Tech. Thank you to all of you who support our work in the city! We hope to see you there as our guest…

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Terence

 

 

Brittany gets furniture, Man finds friends!

Last week, we released Brittany’s story, and got amazing responses! This week people started giving to this single mother with eight children. In fact, a generous couple gives away their furniture to help us start the process of furnishing her new townhome!

She was once homeless, and now is in need of a little help….You can help too! She still needs baby bunk beds, kitchen items, winter clothes for her kids, etc…

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Read her story [HERE]

This past Saturday, #lovebeyondwalls teamed up with Vinings Church, and several volunteers to take love to those who are homeless in ATL. While out serving, the Love Beyond Walls team encountered a man who had been given very harmful drugs and had lost his memory. In fact, he wasn’t homeless but had been robbed and was living as a homeless person…. He was only trying to connect with his friends.10672273_759400770763757_5790484636429957234_n

Long story short, he was visiting Atlanta for the games that were in town, and was able to reconnect with his friends from our time serving. Not only was this amazing, we encountered several homeless friends with amazing stories.

LBW Team

 

The day I was let go!

Everything is perfect right… You are taught, “Get a job… Be consistent in that job… Get tons of education… Apply what you’ve learned… Pay your bills on time… Take care of your family (if you choose to get one)… AND everything will work out for you as long as you are a smart, positive, productive, and a moral citizen…” Right? Wrong!

Life has a way of taking even the simplistic desires of our heart(s) and flipping them upside down…leaving you to wonder, “Is something wrong with me?” or better yet, “Am I not doing something right?…”

How do I know? Well, life was going well…I was working on staff at a church, caring for my family, and started Love Beyond Walls in my spare time… Well, seven days after Easter of this year (2014) I was called into the church office (where I was on staff), and laid off for starting Love Beyond Walls. I think the phrase was, “I think you should go do that 100% because you are not a fit anymore…” 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is where life flips everything upside down…and I was left on the bottom… My heart stopped…In fact, I’m in tears writing this because I felt ashamed to share it at first.

Initially, when I started #lovebeyondwalls I was only devoting part-time energy to it, and had tons of volunteer help (still have a great team). In fact, the organization’s success is not because of me, but because of the team my wife and I have around us…

But, soon LBW began to grow,  gain a little attention and involvement, and suddenly I was told “You are not a fit anymore…It’s not what we do…”

But wait, isn’t this the church’s mission? Love God, Love People, and Serve the least of these? It is….But, at some churches (NOT ALL) it is more about what goes on inside the four walls of the church instead of the people outside the walls that need the love of God, and the good news (not apologizing for stepping on toes, but it is true).

Yes, you heard me… I was given a pink slip, and even told not to come back to the church anymore. Why? I hadn’t done anything criminal or out of line. I just wanted to love on people who I know that God loves, but do not have a voice. However, I have chosen to forgive the mistreatment I received.

In fact, it happened about five days before we launched a campaign called #closetstrike… A campaign where our organization raised awareness about children who attend title 1 schools, and have to wear the same thing every single day because they lack resources at home. I started wearing one outfit every single day (for 90 days), and had to deal with not having a job because of a lay off.

Not only has this been the most difficult journey of my life, it has been the most rewarding too… I have served others with love, compassion, and grace knowing in the back of my mind I could relate to them even more. How have I been able to do it… Simple. HOPE, FOCUS, SUPPORT, AND GOD’S STRENGTH!

Since my layoff, God has provided for my family, and the work we are doing through selfless individuals who see value in our work.

But, if I could be honest this layoff has been both a blessing and a challenge. It has been a blessing because I have been devoted more to building our organization and seeing more impact, but it has been a challenge because I haven’t been able to find more employment with four degrees in one of the worse states for the jobless (GA).

Why put this out there? Simple. It’s to let people know that God does still move in the midst of pain, and in the midst of loss. It is to let people know that you can persevere and build something even though HELL itself is suggesting you should stop and quit. The only thing that has keep me going has been my family and knowing that I am supposed to take hope and love to people who want to throw in the towel.

But here is the good news…We have grown a little more, and in about 15 days, I’m going to release one of the biggest projects we have ever worked on in our lives as an organization.

I can’t wait to write more about the journey I am weathering and our attempt to beat it by doing more good, and serving more people with the love of God.

Below is a picture of a bus we were recently donated… We will share our vision for how we will reach more with it in the coming days.

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Terence