"When I had finally had enough of the abuse, disgrace in my life, and hunger in my soul that no drug, amount of alcohol, or relationship could fill, I found myself living on the streets of New Orleans with no hope. Then I met a group of Christians that go out & minister to the homeless in the French Quarter (Church Without Walls, NOLA). One Thursday morning, God sent a woman to speak to me about how God loved me & that He never left me. She spoke about her past life and how God used Church Without Walls to minister to her. You see, I had accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 12 & felt God's calling on my life when I was a teenager. She told me about Women at the Well, a place where I could find God. I could grow in faith & love for the One who saves my soul. I have completed the 9 month program and am now looking forward to the future. I no longer dwell in my past, I have a plan for today, & the future...that belongs to God!"Ricklyn's world is forever changed all because a few changed people, in Christ, believe that they are world changers. To the reader, in order to become a world changer, commit to "Change a World." You can do so by contributing to Church Without Walls through the donate button at the top right. There are over 6700 homeless men and women on the streets of New Orleans and Ricklyn is no longer one of them.
Ephesians 5:26, "That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,"
Church Without Walls New Orleans has been known as a place of refuge, servitude, and Chrislikeness over the years. Through our ministry God has changed multiple lives in various ways. We have been amazed at the stories that have been created through our services, and we love to share them with you.
In the 2001 romantic comedy titled Serendipity, actor John Cusack played the role of Jonathan Trager. One day Jonathan Trager went out to shop for a pair of gloves. As he pulled the gloves from the rack at Bloomingdales, he felt a tug on the gloves in the opposite direction. Turning around, he realized that he and this beautiful girl came to the store for the same pair of gloves, at the same time, and simultaneously grabbed them. Believing their encounter was true fate, he fell in love at first sight.
They spend the day together and depart from each other returning to their previous lives. Through timely circumstances, they are reunited with each other years later. Wholeheartedly believing their reunion is destiny, the two decide to never let the other get away and made the choice to marry and live the rest of their lives together. Seeking a pair of gloves, they found something valuable neither was looking for. The phrase serendipity is the effect in which one finds something truly valuable especially while looking for something entirely unrelated.
Meet Bill and Scarlett Boles (pictured above). Mr. Boles is a northern Louisiana attorney that hit a rough patch in his life. At that time, one of the ministering voices speaking life into him was Pastor Lawrence Sisung. A short time later God would restore Bill. Grateful for his restoration, he diligently wanted to serve others. He called Pastor Lawrence and the two set up a date to serve the patrons of CWOW New Orleans. However, Mr. Boles would not make the trip from North Louisiana alone. He was accompanied by his friends Scarlett, Paul and Missy. They led the service in worship and served the food and clothing tables afterwards.
While serving the tables, something happened within Scarlett and Bill. Observing the selfless and diligent compassion of Scarlett, Bill said to himself, "If Scarlett would selflessly serve me with half the compassion she is displaying right now, I would love to spend the rest of my life with her." Observing the selfless and diligent compassion of Bill, Scarlett said to herself, "If Bill would selflessly serve me with half the compassion he is displaying right now, I would love to spend the rest of my life with him." They saw each other in a different light through servitude.
Not disclosing their inner feelings to each other, eleven months later Bill proposed to Scarlett before their church in North La. The proposal was a total shock to Scarlett. Since their yearning to be joined as husband and wife started the day the two visited CWOW, one year to the day they set up another day to serve at CWOW New Orleans. On that serve day, Bill and company lead worship. After worship, Bill gave his testimony about his rough patch and restoration process. Following his testimony, he shared with Scarlett before everyone how he felt on that day one year ago. With tears in her eyes and the same love and commitment she made in her heart for Bill one year ago, Scarlett said, "yes."
Pastor Lawrence resided over the wedding. The service turned from a typical Saturday outreach to a wedding ceremony. Looking solely to serve, they found something valuable that would change their lives forever. Pray for Bill and Scarlett Boles as God leads them in His sovereign serendipity.
We, at CWOW New Orleans, are dedicated to the continuation of changing lives and encouraging growth and maturity. If this story along with the other successes of CWOW New Orleans has touched your heart, please consider financially supporting us. All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501c3 organization. Visit us on the web at www.cwownola.org or call (504) 232-7607
Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
One day, as I finished my drink and crushed the empty can, I found a recycling bin to throw it in. My indirect thought of the can was, “This is trash. Recycling is just a fancy way of throwing something away.” Then, sitting at my computer, I over heard a television commercial stating that an entire stadium was built out of recycled cans. "Wow! What I thought was trash, what I indirectly threw away, in the hands of the recycler, it can become something great. It can become something to marvel. It can be erected into a strong tower and a stadium of praise and victory."
I would like to introduce to you the can that was drank dry, crushed and recycled. Meet Anuj (pictured far left). He is an Indian-American that found himself on the downside of life. Seemingly, he had a promising future. He was a product of private high school and was accepted to Louisiana State University. However, he had some hidden struggles brewing inside of him. According to Anuj, he had a supportive mother but a very abusive father.
Growing up with the abuse, he internalized and hid his struggles. While attending Louisiana State University, the struggles were too strong to keep in. He snapped and began to live out the hurt. After a landslide of bad decisions, he was kicked out of college and found himself homeless on the streets of New Orleans.
With life quickly heading nowhere, Anuj heard about Church Without Walls, New Orleans. He began to attend the services and counsel with the CWOW staff. The love and counsel he received led him to seek a change. He checked into a local faith-based rehab. Learning pragmatic Biblical skills on how to handle his struggles, Anuj excelled and graduated from the program one year later.
While in the program, he landed a job and saved a significant amount of money. He counseled with Pastor Troy about his next move in life. Anuj decided to enroll at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to seek a degree in counseling to help others with similar struggles. He is able to pay for school, room, and board with the money he saved. Yes indeed! The can has been recycled and built into a stadium of praise and victory. He went from my homeless friend to my redeemed school mate.
There are over 6700 homeless patrons on the streets of New Orleans but Anuj is no longer one of them.
There are so many people just like Anuj on the streets. We, at CWOW, New Orleans, are committed to doing the work we do with diligence and passion. It takes resources to invest in the lives of others. If you would like to donate to the services of CWOW New Orleans, you can mail a tax deductible gift to 3939 Gentilly Blvd. Box 173 New Orleans, La. 70126 or visit www.cwownola,org and click donate.
Press OnMatthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
“Does God see my needs? Does He hear me? Is my enduring worth it? Is my leap a leap of faith or a leap of stupidity and naivety? I bless others, yet I often go without.” Perhaps these mind boggling questions and statements have made their way into your contemplation of your faithfulness. Often, these are natural reactions as we, so often, try to make sense of our work in the Lord.
Meet Bob Donahue (pictured above). Throughout his life, he has battled addictions. In and out of rehabs was a part of life for him. This Alabama native struggled to consistently put together a productive life. In 2005 while in a brief stint as a resident in a faith-based rehab in Florida, he formed a friendship with Phillip Irwin that would prove to be valuable. Bob progressed and moved to his own place where he took in Phillip as a resident on his couch.
Soon after their stint together, the inconsistency in Bob's life caused him to return to Alabama, and Phillip made his way to New Orleans for work. On the streets of New Orleans, Phillip encountered CWOW and went into a faith-based rehab. He became sober, stable, and a vital part of CWOW. After some years, God reunited the two in 2010, and they remained in contact. After being tired of the merry-go-round, Bob decided to take a leap of faith.
Phillip Irwin progressed and returned the favor to Bob Donahue. He offered him a place on his couch and a commitment to see him change through the love of Christ. Bob was reluctant but soon took the offer. With Phillip and Candy Irwin as his accountability, Bob landed a job and became a primary part of CWOW as the transportation driver.
Bob would diligently serve. For over a year, he tirelessly worked, served in his local church, and drove and served with the ministry of CWOW. However, Bob had a heart attack that left him disable to work, but he could still serve in a limited capacity in the ministry. Puzzled about the timing of his heart attack he wondered if his diligence was worth it. In spite of his health, he continued to serve diligently and faithfully.
On a Friday night, Bob was serving from a pure heart as he always does, and God spoke to him in a manner of material blessings. When Bob got back from shuttling homeless patrons to the service, unexpectedly, Pastor Steve blessed Bob with the keys to a truck of his own. Already overwhelmed by the surprise of the truck, he found out later in the week that he would be eligible to receive his disability. Wow!!!!
1Corinthians 15:58, So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Don’t let anything change you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted.
Remain faithful to the God who is faithful!
There are over 6700 homeless patrons on the streets of New Orleans and Bob is no longer one of them.
If you are moved by this story, consider becoming a financial partner with us as we encounter many people in similar predicaments as Bob. You can become a monthly donor or a one-time donor by visiting www.cwownola.org and clicking donate or mail check or money order to 3939 Gentilly Blvd. Box 173 New Orleans, La. 70126.