It’s only a hotdog! A bun, some chips and a glass of lemonade, and that’s it. It’s not some great evangelistic program or even worthy of an associational training session. It’s giving away grilled hotdogs twice a week to people considered to be the bottom rung of the society ladder. Recovering addicts who live in a 15X15 block apartment in a complex that resembles a prison with no fence. Yet these people long for fellowship. They long for someone to listen to them and offer a prayer. They are in need of a Savior on the most basic level of understanding…”I need help right now, please!” We pass them by every day. We might offer a couple of dollars at a traffic light or see them pulling cigarette buds from an outdoor ashtray. The truth is only a small percentage of us will get involved. We think that someone else will help them or that they made their bed…or maybe we just don’t know what to do or say to them.
The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
Folks, this is not rocket surgery. Since June of this year we have made contact with over 40 people, 1 salvation and baptism (who was a leader in the Disciples drug gang in Dayton), 3 joined Wednesday Bible study and many are coming to Sunday morning worship which required me to wear a t-shirt to lead in worship so one guy would not feel out of place. We are even making the drug dealers upset since we are on their turf—PTL! I tell people at North Dayton Baptist Church that if Jesus walked up our street He would have to turn to the left to come to our church or turn to the right to go the apartment complex. Which way do you think He would turn?
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
No doubt about it. The apartment complex! One man with trembling hands asked why we are doing this. He was told that “God loves him and so do we”. He starred at us and ask where our church was…he was standing in our parking lot. Listen churches! We have got to get out of our churches to meet our neighbors. Do you know the needs of your neighbors?
When we started the “Hotdog Ministry” in June we had 25 neighbors come. This past week we had over 40 people come and eat. We did have a special grill master, Steve Stiglich from the GDAB, it was good to see the Dayton Fire Dept respond so quickly. A BIG “Thank You” goes to Jack Helton and the SCBO for helping us out with funds to keep this ministry going through August. And “Thank You” for giving to the Co-operative Program and the Ray Roberts offering. You are helping to make a difference right here in Ohio! Now go fire up a grill and meet your neighbors!
-- Doug Morgan, North Dayton Baptist Church